The Loire Valley Gourmet hamper, gastronomy of the Mayenne region

This month La Gourmet Box is taking you to the département of Mayenne, less well-known than neighbouring Brittany or the Loire Valley but definitely underrated from a foodie perspective. Thanks to its rich soil and splendid artisans, this region boasts products of superlative quality. Stop a while in Mayenne, at least long enough to savour this gourmet box—you won’t be disappointed!

Gourmet content of your Loire Valley Gourmet gift box:

• Poiré du Maine, delicate perry with fine natural bubbles (75 cl)
• Craq’Pom, thin, crispy dried apple chips (40 g)
• Veggie spread with celery, apple and walnut oil (110 g)
• Creamy chicken rillettes with garden vegetables (200 g)
• Mayenne-style carbonnade, a delicious beef stew slow-cooked with stout and spices (250 g)
• Venison rillettes with elderberries (100 g)
• Craquantin Breton, crunchy biscuits with salted-butter caramel and hazelnut slivers (100 g)
• Sweet fruity rhubarb and elderflower jam (220 g)

Details on our Loire Valley food hamper products and artisans below.

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OUR GOURMET GIFT box from the Loire Valley, A Premium FRENCH FOOD box

Experience the succulent delights of France's Loire Valley gastronomy, as you eat your way through this fabulous Mayenne gourmet box.

Poiré du Maine, delicate perry with fine natural bubbles (75 cl)

craft-perry-ciderArtisan: Ferme du Pressoir, Sonia et Rémy VIEL - producer and processor of apples and pears for 5 generations.

A regular regional and national award-winner, the Ferme du Pressoir is a family-owned business in Pays de Craon that’s maintained its cider-making tradition for generations in an exceptional setting.

You’ll taste their savoir-faire in this delicious perry, made the same way as a fine cider, but with the subtle aroma of pears to tantalize your mouth and nose.

With its bright golden colour, fine bubbles and low alcohol content, this perry is surprisingly delicate in the mouth, making it a perfect fruity aperitif or dessert companion. Serve chilled.

 
Craq’Pom, thin, crispy dried apple chips (40 g)

crispy-dried-apple-chips-mayenneArtisan: Ferme du Pressoir, Sonia et Rémy VIEL - producer and processor of apples and pears for 5 generations.

Obviously, our artisan is all about enhancing the merits of apples.

Here the fruit is picked at the perfect stage of ripeness, dried the old-fashioned way and only preserved with a splash of lemon juice.

An excellent crunchy, fruity snack.

 
Venison rillettes with elderberries (100 g)

venison-rillettesArtisan: le comptoir du Fougeray.

In our humble opinion, Le comptoir de Fougeray is one of the top rillettes experts in France: their carefully selected meats, slowly stewed for hours and shredded by hand, with no additives or preservatives, have an incredibly tender texture and superb flavour. Whenever we want a taste of game, we turn to them—and they never disappoint.

We also enjoyed the slightly fruity hint of the elderberries. You’ll love it spread on a slice of fresh bread or a piece of toast.

 
Veggie spread with celery, apple and walnut oil (110 g)

veggie-spread-franceArtisan: La Bocalerie des Gourmets, Aurèle Joannard.

This artisan decided to create unique snack food in jars by combining fresh, local, seasonal produce with unexpected flavours. And although we fell in love with this particular recipe, we can tell you that every creation has a truly surprising taste!

Here the celery “tickles” the apple, blended with a splash of walnut oil: an amazingly savoury snack you’ll love to spread on toast!

 
Creamy chicken rillettes with garden vegetables (200 g)

rillettes-poulet-mayenneArtisan: Les Rillettes Gorronnaises, Jean-Rémy Cousin - artisan-charcutier.

You may know the rillettes of Le Mans, but they’ve got nothing on the rillettes of neighbouring Mayenne...

Drawing on four generations of culinary experience and savoir-faire, our artisan introduced us to these chicken rillettes with an original veggie twist: carrots, turnips and leeks add something unique to the incomparable flavour and smoothness of these rillettes made entirely by hand, the old-fashioned way.

Mayenne cuisine will spoil you rotten!

 
Mayenne-style carbonnade, a delicious beef stew slow-cooked with stout and spices (250 g)

carbonnade-mayenneArtisan: L'Effet Papilles, Restaurant & Traiteur bistronomique, Adrien Barrier - Chef de cuisine.

Like many restaurant owners, Adrien recently found himself forced to close his eatery in the centre of Laval. Instead of wringing his hands, he and his team decided to put their food in jars and sell it, and you’ll hear no complaints from us!

Once you’ve warmed it up, this Mayenne-style carbonnade—with no artificial colouring or preservatives, of course—is sure to delight your gourmet friends.

 
Craquantin, crunchy biscuits with salted-butter caramel and hazelnut slivers (100 g)

breton gourmet food productsArtisan: Biscuiterie de Bretagne.

We made a little detour to Brittany to complete the sweet touches of the box...Frédéric Adam, founder of the Biscuiterie de Bretagne, managed to come up with a delicious recipe for crisp biscuits made of flour, sugar and egg white but no yolk—an amazing fat-free delicacy in the land of butter and Kouign-amann. And so the Craquantin Breton was born. Some years later, he added salted-butter caramel to the mix, and it quickly became an icon among Breton biscuits.

With the bonus of hazelnut slivers, these little temptations are sure to delight all sweet-toothed gourmands.

 
Sweet fruity rhubarb and elderflower jam (220 g)

confiture-artisanale-rhubarbe-sureauArtisan: La Maison du Sureau, Natie et Bertrand Bouflet.

In the heart of the old province of Maine, Natie and Bertrand have made elderberries their speciality, using them in all sorts of creative concoctions. Few fruit trees are cultivated for both their flowers and their fruit, but the elder is one of them.

Here, these nature lovers have combined elderflowers with the rhubarb they grow in their permaculture garden, and the result is quite surprising: with just 33% sugar, the blend of these two wonderful ingredients tones down the rhubarb’s natural tartness until it’s just right.

 

Happy Gourmet Trip to the Loire Valley!