A French Interlude: The Gentle Beauty of the Loire Valley

June 02, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Heading down and out of the narrow, winding streets of the medieval hill-top town of Sancerre, we realized we forgot to pick up some of the ham of Sancerre, a local specialty which is smoked over vine roots (sarments de vigne). We continued our descent, assuming we’d be able to find it in the surrounding area. Stopping not more than 10 miles away at a neighboring village, we asked a baker if she knew where else we might purchase it. It is available in Sancerre, she said, only Sancerre.

Monsieur Fortin’s Charcuterie Artisanale and Traiteur is strategically located on the Place Henri IV, in the heart of Henrichment, a town noted for its symmetrically planned central square. We stopped at the shop to buy some Pâté de Campagne, but soon spied saucisson sec, a dry-cured sausage with a signature dusting of edible white mold, hanging from the ceiling. When we requested one, Monsieur Fortin proudly explained that they are his spécialité de la maison (house made specialty). (more…)