Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Quite a chick!

During our recent stay in the Loire Valley, I finally got to meet the famous Black Lady of Touraine … on my plate! Because this lady is … a chicken, that goes by the official name of ‘La Géline de Touraine’. This is also the right answer to last week’s quiz question. 50% of you got it right. Congratulations.

La Géline is a rustic bird. It’s a descendant of ancient breeds (Noire du Berry, Courtes-pattes) that used to be very popular in the French ‘Centre’ region. It’s appreciated for its gustatory qualities and delectable and tender meat.

Till the 18th century ‘La Géline’ was very sought after by gourmets. It was prominently present in the Halles of Paris and on the market stalls in its native province. The 19th and first half of the 20th century weren’t very kind to our lady. Lucky for us, she has made a fulgurating come-back, thanks to the continuous efforts of a small group of admirers, who never stopped believing in the exceptional qualities of ‘leur dame’. In 2001 ‘la Géline de Touraine’ finally got the recognition she deserved: the precious ‘Label Rouge’. However, Susan and Simon from Days on the Claise told us when we were visiting them last week, that the organization responsible for acquiring the label had given it up since, as it was too expensive to maintain.

Le Val Joli in Vouvray

I had La Géline ‘Coq au Vin’ style, with a sauce made with red Chinon wine, in ‘Le Val Joli’. You’ll find this lovely restaurant on the main road in Vouvray.

Last Sunday, on the day of our arrival, the place was packed with several families with small children celebrating their ‘petite communion’. They were all dressed up in their Sunday best. Some of the children looked liked tiny adults in their very sophisticated frocks. The main dining room was very noisy and hot.

We were lucky to get a small table by the door, away from the crowd. Every now and then a refreshing breeze floated in through the open window.

The meal was delicious: a ‘planchette’ of local ‘charcuterie’, followed by the Géline for me and another local specialty ‘une beuchelle Tourangelle’ for my friend. The meal ended with a small selection of savoury cheeses. Being in Vouvray we imperatively drank a bottle of sec Vouvray wine.

An excellent start of a yet another great holiday.


Anonymous said...

It would have been rude not to have had lots of Vouvray!

Hope you enjoyed it. It's Sir P's favourite,


ladybird said...

GG: We simply loved it! Sir P. has excellent taste! Martine