The Auvergne is a region brimming with character and is particularly rich in specialities which are popular with all food lovers. Local cooked-meat products, wine and cheese can be found on tables just about anywhere, and are used in simple yet traditional dishes.
A very "local" product, the green lentil from Le Puy-en-Velay is a vegetable packed with goodness. This dried vegetable can often surprise you with its unique taste and is suitable for both traditional auvergnate cuisine or for more elaborate dishes produced by master chefs. It is also the main ingredient of the mouth-watering rustic dish known as "petit salé" (salted belly pork), accompanied by sausages and spare ribs.
The mountain air is particularly useful for drying salted meat products and the cooked meats produced in the Auvergne have obviously benefited from this! They are prepared by combining the meat with local fruit including hazelnuts, bilberries and chestnuts. A successful blend of great tastes.
Wine lovers will be delighted to sample the Saint Pourçain (covered by the French AOC quality label) and the Côtes d’Auvergne, with their five 5 varieties: Châteaugay, Chanturgue, Pinot, Boudes and Madargue.
In the Auvergne, liquors and aperitifs are produced from wild plants and herbs such as the gentian, a large yellow flower growing up in the high pastures which is a key ingredient. For its part, verbena lends its name to the well-known Verveine du Velay which also includes more than 30 other plants.
To avoid getting carried away with alcoholic drinks, please don't forget that the Auvergne is also very famous for its mineral waters. Whether still or sparkling, you'll have no trouble finding your favourite mineral water from among the 109 varieties listed here.