Mushrooms and mushroom farms in the Loire Valley
Button mushrooms, a speciality of the Loire Valley
Button mushrooms have been flourishing in Saumur for over 100 years. The city’s underground galleries offer all the ideal conditions for growth, and over 50% of the country’s button mushrooms are cultivated here.
Visit one of the region’s multiple farms to understand about growing mushrooms. One of them, the Saut au Loups mushroom farm, is located in a troglodyte site dating from the 15th century, where they grow numerous mushroom varieties including button, oyster, blue foot and shiitake mushrooms. Galipettes, large button mushrooms, are cooked in a bread oven and enjoyed with pate, Andouille sausages, salmon, snails and fresh goat’s cheese. All that with a view over the Loire! While you're there, don’t miss out on a visit of the Musée du Champignon.
Also close to Saumur, you can visit mushroom farmer Jacky Roulleau, in troglodyte dwellings dating from the 16th century.
Situated in Bourré, near Chenonceau, the Cave Champignonnière des Roches also grows button mushrooms, as well as blue foot mushrooms. In fact, 40% of the world’s blue foot mushroom produce comes from this farm! This famous variety is used in dishes in gourmet restaurants. Shiitake mushrooms, the famous variety with a Japanese name which is very popular in Asia, are also grown here. In total, 100 tons of high-quality mushrooms are produced, and they are all harvested by hand! Come and visit the mushroom cellar for yourself to find out how they are grown. In the space of an hour you will learn about how they are cultivated 50 metres underground using a traditional growing technique, at a temperature of 13°C. The farm is spread out over 120 kilometres of galleries and 7 floors!
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