My April column in Living France: Poitou-Charentes Lamb
An Easter Feast with L’agneau du Poitou-Charentes
When it comes to excellent lamb, the Poitou-Charentes region in northern Nouvelle-Aquitaine is one the country’s top producers. More than 1,000 breeders spread out over the departments of Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sévres and Vienne are proudly continuing a tradition that goes back to at least the 14th century.
Though at first sheep were mainly reared for their wool, as of the 18th century meat production became significantly more important. The region’s lush grazing pastures (a result of its mild oceanic climate and sufficient rainfall) proved to be an ideal environment for the production of quality, free-range meat with a delicate and refined flavour that did not go unnoticed by chefs and culinary connoisseurs. By 1983, the brand L’agneau du Poitou-Charentes was created in order to regulate production, and in 2004 it was granted the IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) label guaranteeing its origin.