Cognac and Pineau des Charentes
is the result of double-distilling wine brandy, and is world-renowned. Enjoy its subtle flavours and aromas by trying it as a digestif or in a cocktail. South Charente, which isn’t far from the city of Cognac, is part of the liqueur’s production zone, allowing the use of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation for its brandies.
Pineau des Charentes,
is an intriguing blend of grapes must and Cognac brandy. It’s an AOC vin de liqueur (fortified wine). Whether you’re drinking it white or red, it’s to be drunk very cold as an aperitif, with foie gras, melons or desserts.
A brûlot charentais is when Cognac is poured into the saucer of a coffee cup.
The Cognac is then set alight, infusing the coffee with the delectable aromas of the brandy.
Charentais winegrowers use this to reheat cold coffee.
Give it a try at the estate of one of our region’s passionate producers.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Drink in moderation.
Chalais Veal and Barbezieux Chicken
These two products have been awarded the regional label: ‘signé Poitou-Charentes’!
- Chalais veal production is an age-old tradition for a product that is favoured for its white meat and unbelievable tenderness. The calf is a meat or mixed cattle breed and is udder-fed on whole milk.
- The Barbezieux chicken, originating from the Barbezieux region in Charente, is renowned for its firm flesh. It’s amongst the 500 most ancient French chicken breeds.
It’s a particularly large chicken with black feathers.
Learn more about Barbezieux chicken.
Find Chalais veal and Barbezieux chicken farmers in our dedicated section Local farmers.
Escargots and walnuts
- ‘Petit-gris’ snails are much loved in Charente, so much so that they have become a symbol of the people. They are also known as cagouillards, lumas and cagouilles. They can be eaten à la charentaise, meaning stuffed with sausage meat, or with butter and garlic.
- Walnuts, known for their nutritional benefits, such as lowering bad cholesterol, preventing heart disease, being a source of essential fatty acids, etc., are also produced in South Charente, where they have been awarded the ‘Noix du Périgord’ AOC designation. They can be used in oils, flours, in snacks or even….
.. sweet treats!
are the most typical type of sweet treat that you’ll find at all kinds of events, whether its family parties, wedding receptions, or even just teatime! This cake, made from a dry dough flavoured with pieces of angelica, would often be prepared in a hurry whenever visitors would arrived. It would be served hot, accompanied by coffee, a glass of white wine or a glass of Pineau des Charentes.
Cornuelles from Villebois-Lavalette,
are a type of shortbread biscuit that are traditionally eaten on Palm Sunday. The triangular shapes are reminiscent of the Holy Trinity or female fertility.
Dating from the same era comes the Pines de Barbezieux. This choux pastry is reminiscent of masculine virility.