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Gourmet Trail: Auvergne’s Secret Treats

The Auvergne [1] region – a volcanic, richly lush and rustic oasis in the very heartland of France – is known for many things in culinary circles. It has a burgeoning reputation for high-end dining, and its AOP-labelled cheeses [2] (Saint-Nectaire, Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert, Salers and Cantal) are fit to adorn the finest of cheese platters. Similarly, its famous Puy lentils [3] enjoy a mighty reputation as a satisfying filler that is full of flavour.

Charroux Mustard boutique
Charroux Mustard boutique. Photo: © CRT AUVERGNE

But there are other products made with great skill, and no little passion, that are worth seeking out. Charroux Mustard, for one. Created in a mill in this Plus Beau Village de France [4], this fiery accoutrement is made by blending mustard seeds, vinegar and white wine from Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, made with a local grape variety known as Tressallier. A wide range of mustards is available, including purple mustard made with Saint-Pourçain red wine.

Saint-Pourçain vineyards
Saint-Pourçain vineyards. Photo: © CRT AUVERGNE

Talking of which, Auvergne is also enjoying a boost in its reputation as a producer of this notable tipple. The wines of this appellation are considered by some an extension of the Loire Valley wines, with 640 hectares of vineyards spread over 19 towns. Whites are largely Chardonnay-based while reds are made with Gamay and Pinot Noir.

For further tasty details on Auvergne, visit www.auvergne-tourism.com [5]

From France Today magazine

Saint-Pourçain wines
Saint-Pourçain wines. Photo: © CRT AUVERGNE
Making Charroux Mustard
Making Charroux Mustard. Photo: © CRT AUVERGNE
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