Gastronomy & wines

A great gastronomy

 Given its geography Charente maritime is a paradise for seafood and shells lovers. The famous Marennes-Oléron oysters are reared between the Oléron island and the mouth of the Seudre river. Ile de Ré is also specialised in oysters, crabs whereas mussels are reared up North in Charron. All types of fishes are to be found and well cooked by a rich culinary tradition: seabass, “maigre” a local fish with refined white flesh, tong, etc…A very pleasant way of tasting the local oysters is to stop by at one of the many oysters farmers' cabin along the many cycling tracks of Ile de Ré or Ile d'Oléron. It might be even an incentinve for those not too keen on cycling and a good one as it is the best way to discover the area.

Charente is also very rural and offers many earth produce of great quality. The mild atlantic climate and a fertile sandy soil enable to grow early vegetables such as asparagus, early potatoes – the only one bearing an AOC (‘Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée’) grow on the Ile de Ré – melons etc… The quality of a gastronomy being intimately linked to the quality of the produce and their freshness, Charente maritime is particularly gifted in that respect. Then Charente is well known in France for the quailty of its dairy products: goat cheese and Surgères butter

Wines and vineyards

Another important produce of the earth in Charente maritime is wine! Cognac vineyards are well-known and are starting diversifying their production towards wines since brandies and highly alcoholic beverages are less consumed in France.