Regional products and producers
Charolais beef, potato pie, scratchings bread, Golden disks … the Bourbon territory is full of local products and recipes to delight the most demanding gourmets. The Tourist Office in Moulins also offers various food specialities produced in Allier (Charroux mustard, Lapalisse oils, Buffalo Terrines, Jam from Sept-Fons Abbey, Beer from Gannay and Treban, Saint-Pourçain wines, etc) which you can purchase in large or small quantities to fill your tasty larder.
This pie made with potatoes and fresh cream is often served as a starter, and also as a main dish accompanied by slices of bacon or cured ham. It is a warm and simple dish, and goes well with white Saint-Pourçain wine. It can be found in most bakeries or delicatessens.
This is like a brioche, with a little more salt than usual, in which the butter is replaced by scratchings. Scratchings are the residue left after melting down pork fat, to which a few grains of salt are added once they have been fried till golden. They are often served warm as an appetizer and can be found in most bakeries or delicatessens.
Bourbon Charolais beef
As you travel round the Allier whether by car, on foot or bicycle, you will surely have seen these large white cows with their thick coats. It is very probable that they are Charolais because 2 out of 3 farms in Allier have this breed. Charolais cattle are bred purely for their meat, often raised in so-called suckling herds because the cow suckles her calf. The breed is raised in the Saône et Loire, Allier, Nièvre and Cher départements, and Charolais breeding is a historical agricultural tradition in Allier. The Allier landscape with its green pastures and hedgerows provide ideal grazing for these large herds of Charolais and produces top quality animals. The Allier has developed a policy for quality promotion based on red labels and traceability. Consequently this was the first département to have a Red Label for beef back in 1974, with the "Charolais du Bourbonnais" qualification which is now a recognised PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). Tender and tasty, Charolais beef is on sale in all good shops! -
Chocolate Les Palets d’Or (Golden Disks)
Created in Moulins at the end of the last century by Bernard Sérardy, the "Palet d’Or" is Moulin's sweet speciality. This semi-sweet chocolate, made of ganache blended from chocolate and fresh cream and lightly flavoured with coffee, is unusual in that it is covered with a sprinkling of fine flakes of gold. It can be found in many chocolate shops (Les Palets d’Or, Patisserie-Chocolaterie Fossey, La Cave au Chocolat, Au Moulin de la Galette, etc.)
The Saint Pourçain vineyards are among the oldest in France. Right back in the 14th century the wine is known to have enlivened the guests at the King of France's table. They now cover more than 600 hectares on the left bank of the Allier river, from Chemilly in the north to Chantelle in the south. After undergoing considerable changes since the nineteen seventies, it uses Gamay and black Pinot grapes for the red and rosé wines, and for the white, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Tressallier grapes, the latter being exclusive to the Saint Pourçain region. Initially, the white, rosé and red Saint-Pourçain wines had the VDQS designation of origin but since 2009, they are proud of their AOC designation!
Régional products and héritage
Moulins and the Bourbon area are also part of the 25 member-towns of the “Villes de Terroir” Club in France. The Tourist Offices in these towns and cities which all have abundant tourist attractions and truly authentic local food specialities, offer a unique means of making the most of these advantages, with "Terroir" Menus and "Terroir and Patrimoine" days along with special "skills and know-how" touring circuits.