The Ardèche chestnut
Chestnuts are everywhere in the Ardèche! From cakes, to pancakes, to mashed potatoes or biscuits, it has been used for centuries in many local sweet and savoury specialities.
The chestnut is a pretty fruit with good nutritional values, often confused with the inedible chestnut. It is part of the culinary landscape of the Ardèche…
A short history of the Ardèche chestnut
Cow’s and sheep’s milk are also used. These are cheeses with character, strong in taste, which can be eaten on their own or accompanied by some Ardèche specialities. Visit a cheese factory to find out more about the making of cow’s or goat’s milk cheese and in particular the maturing process!
Goat’s cheese, hard cheese and various specialities made from local dairy products or pasteurised milk will be offered. Cheese is the farm product par excellence!
The Ardèche chestnut, protected designation of origin
Since 2014, the 65 varieties of Ardèche chestnuts have their own protected designation of origin, obtained 8 years after the AOC. Fresh chestnuts, but also dry chestnuts and chestnut flour are protected. This appellation concerns a large part of the department, along the Monts d’Ardèche Regional Natural Park. It ensures the quality of the chestnuts, guaranteed without chemical fertilisation, and their traceability.
Some specialities made from Ardèche chestnuts
During your camping stay in the Ardèche, you will have the opportunity to taste many chestnut-based products, most of them preserved in jars. Of course you can eat them on their own, whole and peeled.
Chestnut soups and desserts
You may have the opportunity to taste dried chestnut pieces or chestnut soup, for example in a gourmet restaurant. Chestnuts can also be found in desserts such as rice pudding, tiramisu and other desserts.
Those with a sweet tooth will turn to marrons glacés and crème de marron. Both recipes use chestnuts, real chestnuts not being edible, and should be called chestnut cream. Sweet or savoury, in confectionery or in dessert with a touch of vanilla or pears, chestnuts are shaped as you like in Ardèche gourmande and are a delight, even in drinks!
You will find the chestnut liqueur in the castagnou, a typical aperitif of the region: one third liqueur, two thirds white wine from Ardèche. While quietly enjoying a castagnou on the terrace of an authentic gîte, or in our restaurant in Ardèche you will understand what makes the Ardèche so unique.