The good local products of the Vendée

Noirmoutier-en-l'Île
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The Vendée brings together very different terroirs and offers you many delicacies to taste. We invite you to discover these good local products from the Vendée.

A gourmet stay in the Vendée will take you on the country roads, through its peasant lands. During this trip, you will meet passionate producers, you will discuss the typical markets, you will soak up the Vendée culture. We take you through its different territories and their productions: seafood from its coast and islands, salt from the salt marshes, poultry farming in the Marô, the pearls of the Marais Poitevin... gastronomic getaway in Vendée.


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Seafood from the Atlantic Ocean

We begin our discovery by the Atlantic coast. The “ Côte de Lumière ” and the ocean offer Vendée its many seafood, fish and other iodized delicacies.

Oysters from Vendée Atlantique

Vendée Atlantique oysters are the stars of seafood platters, but they can also be eaten hot and au gratin… Whatever your favorite recipe, they are a must on Vendée tables. The two main production areas are Noirmoutier Island for the Fromentine oysters and the Payré estuary for the Guittière oysters .


Walk the " Route de l'huître " (fr) which runs along the entire Vendée coast.


Les Huîtres du Cap Horn

Bouchot mussel

Bouchot mussels have a significant taste linked to their method of aging on wooden piles. Its yellow flesh and black shell make it very recognizable. It is generally cooked in a marinière style, but it can also be eaten raw or cooked, as a starter.


Bouchot comes from the medieval term “ bouchau ”, which designates the valve that opens or closes a canal. The “ bouchaus ” are used in the Breton Vendée Marshes to manage communication with the sea. We see that mussels cling to them. Posts will therefore be installed at the entrance to the salt marsh canals to accommodate the mussels that proliferate on the rocks of the coast. We will call them " bouchaus " until they give their name to this method of breeding. The “ bouchot mussels ” are born!

mussels- @ pexels-julia-volk
Photo © Julia Volk

The gables of Saint-Jean-de-Monts

Third flagship product of the Vendée coast, these are the pine nuts from Saint-Jean-de-Monts. You can pick them up in the sand on the beaches of Vendée, buy them from the fishmongers or delegate their preparation to professionals. Indeed, they take a little long to cook since it is advisable to make them disgorge for several hours to remove the sand... In the restaurants of Saint-Jean-de-Monts and surroundings, you can taste these very small shells, at the delicate and slightly sweet flavor. A true delight!


Test fishing on foot in Saint-Jean-de-Monts to collect pine nuts.

Walk fishing
Fishing on foot, a popular activity in the Vendée!


Don't know what sprockets are? You have surely already heard of " tellines ". They are the same seashells! Depending on the region along the Atlantic coast, they are called tellines, gables or even “ coquinas ” in Spain.

Tellines-Thesupermat --- CC-BY-SA-2.5
Tellines © Thesupermat CC-BY-SA-2.5

Sardines from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie

The famous brand " La Perle des Dieux " has settled in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. It is off the Vendée coast that the sardines are fished, then nested directly back to the port. You will also find them fresh in the markets or at the fishmongers. This fish can be grilled on the barbecue or cooked in court bouillon. Rich in omega 3, it is an ally of your health.

Sole sablaise

Sole sablaise is the sole from Les Sables d'Olonne. She lives in the sandy bottoms which gave their name to the seaside resort. This flat fish has firm, white and fine flesh. Sole fillets are very popular at “ la meunière ”, but there are many other recipes available to you.

Tuna from Ile d'Yeu

Tuna from Ile d'Yeu is a family tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation at the “ Conserverie de l'Ile d'Yeu ”. The fishery and the cannery are artisanal. Besides, there is not only tuna, but also mackerel and other fish, or crustaceans. The recipes are ancestral and you will enjoy rillettes, pâtés and other seafood and Vendée specialties.

Salicornia

The salicornia is a product between land and sea, still unknown. It is one of the rare plants that grow naturally in a salty environment: beaches, salt marshes… It is a small plant made up of stems but without leaves. Oyster farmers generally cultivate it, in addition to their oyster production. It is very rich in trace elements and you can use it as an iodized condiment, which will enhance many dishes. When it is young and crunchy, it is eaten in a salad. But it can also be blanched or candied.


Salicornia Ylloh Pixabay
Salicornia © Ylloh / Pixabay

Noirmoutier salt

The salt marshes are an integral part of the Vendée coastal and island landscape. Noirmoutier salt is the most famous, but there are many other salt workers along the coast. Coarse cooking salt, fine salt or fleur de sel, there is something for everyone.


The salt marshes of Noirmoutier

The salt marshes of Noirmoutier

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Products from traditional Vendée breeding

Whether in the groves or in the marshes, the Vendée is a traditional breeding ground.

Challans poultry

Challans poultry are regularly labeled and awarded medals in many categories: duckling, goose, capon, chicken, fowl, guinea fowl, quail... 17 poultry are recognized in “ Label Rouge ”. On the outskirts of the Breton Vendée Marshes, Challans benefits from this specific ecosystem, ideal for poultry farming, which brings an inimitable taste to these birds.

The CHallans Market, old postcard Public Domain
The Challans Market, old postcard Public Domain

Vendée beef

The Protected Geographical Indication ” and the “ Label Rouge ” assure you that Vendée beef is one of the slow-growing meat breeds, that the animals are reared on site from birth to slaughter, and fed with a adapted food. It is a guarantee of quality for this meat of character, which is found on the plate.

Vendée pork

In the Vendée bocages, between Cholet, La-Roche-sur-Yon and Parthenay, pig farmers surround the famous Salaisonnerie de Pouzauges, known under the name “ Fleury Michon ”. There are also independent, organic or traditional farms... Vendée pigs are renowned for their succulent ham, which benefits from the “ Label Rouge ”.

Market gardening in the Vendée

The specific soils of the marshes and the coast, the rich lands of the Marais Poitevin and the Vendée bocages, are areas of predilection for the cultivation of numerous fruits and vegetables.

The Bonnotte de Noirmoutier potato

Here is another specialty of the island of Noirmoutier: the potato! The “ Bonnotte ” variety is typical of Vendée, but other types of potatoes are grown on the island. In “ Protected Designation of Origin ”, it is a so-called “ primeur ” production because it is harvested young. Its thin and delicate skin allows it to be eaten whole. In terms of taste, it is slightly sweet. However, it is not suitable for long storage.


Bonotte Potato
Bonotte potato Photo © BastienM CC BY SA 2.0

The Vendée mogettes

Mogette is a variety of small white beans. It is also called " ingot ", because of its specific shape. The Vendée mogette is protected by an IGP (protected geographical indication) and its quality is recognized by the “ Label Rouge ”. It is a tender and tasty bean, which is widely used in many casseroles in the region.

Mogettes of Vendée
The Mogettes of Vendée

The gray pumpkin from the Pays de Monts marshes

The gray pumpkin of the Pays de Monts marshes is a squash with an astonishing color, a blue-gray parchment. Yet inside, its flesh is very orange. Historically, it has been eaten roasted in the oven. At the time, we put it in the baker's hot oven, after baking the bread. Its sweet flavor is perfect for original cakes or soups.


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Here is this discovery of the products of the Vendée terroir which ends here. We hope to have made you want to extend it with a tasting, during your next gourmet stay in Vendée .


Did you like our article? Find others on the Blog of the Guide de la Vendée! Find us also on the Facebook page of the Guide de la Vendée and on our Instagram account @guidedelavendee


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