The art of conviviality is important to us all in the Loire, that is probably why we created the imaginative punch ‘la soupe angevine’. Prepared in a large bowl, the recipe is simple: 1 x 75cl bottle of Crémant, a ladleful of the juice of 4 lemons (a medium size cup will suffice), a ladleful of cane syrup and a ladleful of Cointreau! Serve it chilled in champagne coupes!
There’s nothing like a ‘Granité Menthe Pastille – chocolat’ on a warm summer evening! Here’s how to make it: mix 20cl of mint liqueur with 40ml of water. Let it stand in a container in the freezer for approximately 3 hours, stirring it every hour with a fork to create a ‘crushed ice’ look. Before serving (in a shot glass), melt 100g of dark chocolate and pour onto the cocktail. Sprinkle with mint leaves, add small slices of strawberry and…..voila!
One of the great liqueurs produced locally is Cointreau. Used in cakes and patisserie, its sweet bitter orange flavour adds a distinctive touch. It features in many different cocktail recipes but try the Cointreaupolitan or the Cointreaupirinha!
It’s impossible not to succumb to the succulent taste of the Cul de veau à l’angevine, one of the region’s oldest and most famous dishes. Rump of veal, slow cooked in a casserole, on a bed of sliced carrots and chopped onions, soaked in a broth made from Anjou dry white wine, brandy and cream.
Not surprisingly, in a region traversed by four main rivers, fish plays a big part in the local kitchens of the Angevin. ‘Les filets de Sandre à l’oseille’ (fillets of local perch in a creamy, white wine and sorrel sauce) can be found on the menus of some of the world’s finest restaurants. Also of local origin is pan-fried or battered eel, but it is as a casserole that it is at its best. After cutting the eel into big slices/chunks, pan-fry them with some butter and mushrooms. Cook in a casserole dish with a broth and then serve with a creamy sauce topping.
Soft and sweet – on a plate!
Rustic and simple plum pie without any fuss! Make a short crust pastry base and then place the plums (with their stones to maximise taste) around the base, leaving the middle empty. Cover with pastry top and cut a 3cm diameter hole in the centre. After 45mins in a hot oven, the feast can begin!
For over 150 years, the ‘Doyenné du Comice’ pear has inspired chefs around the world. Full of flavour with sweet and juicy flesh, it can be prepared as a savoury chutney or marmalade with orange, onion and ginger - a perfect accompaniment to a tuna steak.
‘Quernon d’Ardoise’ is a speciality of Angers; named after the block of raw slate mined in the region. In fact, it is a subtle blend of blue chocolate and nougat with caramelized almonds and hazelnuts giving it a crispy and crunchy base. It is ideal with salted butter, caramel or white chocolate ice cream!