World-renowned products, double-digit AOC/AOP* appellations awarded, prestigious restaurants, chefs showcasing their talents: if there's a region where the word "Gastronomy" really applies, no doubt Southern Burgundy would be it. You'll find here the various gastronomic references that have contributed to the area's renown well beyond our borders.
A veritable cascade of AOC and AOP appellations
Drawing up a list of all of Saône-&-Loire's AOC or AOP labelled products might look like a hodgepodge, given that the items are so numerous and diversified, aptly illustrating our region's vast richness as regards both culinary dishes and wine selection:
- 30 AOC appellation wines awarded to vineyards across the Côte Chalonnaise, Couchois, Maranges, Mâconnais and parts of the Beaujolais.
- Bresse poultry (chicken, fattened chicken, capon and Bresse turkey)
The Bresse is the world's only poultry farming area to have received an AOP appellation, and this one dates back to 1957 (and, more recently, an AOP label). Four exceptional birds, frolicking in the great outdoors on fertile grasslands, share the spotlight under this prestigious accolad: bresse chicken, Bresse fattened chicken, Bresse capon, and Bresse turkey.
While on the subject: genuine Bresse poultry can be recognized by their blue legs, white plumage and red comb (red, white and blue, couldn't ask for more), as well as the ring placed around their left thigh and the tricolored seal placed on their neck, inscribed with the name of the wholesaler. In short, all measures have been taken for the consumer to be reassured.
- The AOP Charolles beef
Since Saône-&-Loire is the birthplace of the Charolaise beef cattle breed, don't be surprised to catch a glimpse of a few splendid Charolais cows grazing peacefully as you travel through lush Charolais-Brionnais pastureland. Coveted by breeders the world over (and locally as well), they're easy to recognize by their beautiful white robe, perfect proportions and wide rump.
- The AOP Mâconnais goat cheese
Made from raw milk, either on the farm or in the region, the Mâconnais goat cheese is presented as a small truncated cone featuring a lightly-coloured crust slightly salty in flavour. Moreover, this variety offers a wide array of gustatory sensations depending on its state of maturation.
- The AOP Charolais goat cheese
Its characteristic shape, tall and slightly warped like a keg, its soft crust and sweet flavour all elevate the Charolais goat cheese to a genuine delicacy. You're witnessing a cheese that's generous and well-built, making it suitable for ageing under optimal conditions.
- Bresse churned butter, thick and semi-thick whipping cream
Butter and cream also earn AOP distinction. Their aroma, taste, smooth texture and tenderness evoke savours and a regional identity showcasing Bresse production in all its splendour.
* AOC (appellation of certified origin), AOP (appellation of protected origin)
If an official certificate were requested to prove the ubiquity and quality of Saône-&-Loire gastronomy, then a famous red guide would serve as the reference. According to Michelin's rating of gastronomic excellence, the department is home to no fewer than 11 such establishments, one of which (Maison Lameloise in Chagny, directed by chef Eric Pras) has been bestowed with their 3-star honour.
Here are the 11 restaurants cited for exceptional efforts in perpetuating local gourmet experiences:
- La Maison Lameloise (Chagny)
- L’Amaryllis (Saint-Rémy)
- Aux Terrasses, Le Greuze, (Tournus)
- La Marande (Montbellet)
- La Poste (Charolles)
- Pierre (Mâcon)
- La Table de Chaintré (Chaintré)
- Au 14 Février (Saint-Amour-Bellevue)
- L'Ô des Vignes (Fuissé)
- L'Empreinte (Buxy)