La Charente Maritime
5 minutes pour découvrir la Charente Maritime

Cheeses, desserts and ... Surgères butter!     

Dairy production in the Charente-Maritime boomed at the end of the 19th Century, when the phylloxera epidemic destroyed a large number of wines and forced many farmers to return to dairy. The département counted up to 180 dairies, most of which have today disappeared through industrial regrouping.

Surgères butter

As one of the Charentes-Poitou butters, and attributed the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) label in 1979, Surgères butter rightly enjoys a renown that extends past the borders of the Charente-Maritime. A success that is due to its finesse and flavour, as well as its salty taste resulting from the proximity of the sea.

Cheeses and desserts

Another dairy product, Charente-Maritime cheese is mainly the result of artisanal production. Among the specialities are: jonchée a delicious soft cheese made in the environs of Rochefort, a cows’ milk curd flavoured with laurel water, rolled in marsh rushes. In the north of the département are the famous Tricornes de Marans, triangular-shaped sheep milk soft cheeses, eaten with a pinch of green garlic. Finally, an unmissable ‘derived product’: cheese tourteau, a soufflé-shaped cake with cow or sheep cheese, deliberately burnt on top but soft and moist inside.

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