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Local know-how

Inside the Park, the most "famous" know-how continues to be associated with gastronomy: wine and mushroom growing.

But for all that, the territory also boasts extensive know-how that now sometimes only survives through the passion of a few committed inhabitants.

One example is La Rouchouze clay.

The geology of the area around La Rouchouze (a hamlet near Langeais) is of enormous interest to anyone interested in clay. For countless decades, it was renowned for its high clay qualities. 300 jobs were given over to exploiting this natural resource. Today, this activity is sustained only thanks to the dedication of two people.

The use of stone

The art of stone-carving and its use in buildings are a major expertise.The white tuffeau stone is omnipresent here, but the building methods have varied widely throughout the Park.  Building firms can be found pretty much all over the territory.

Worth noting are two "compagnons" centres – one in Saumur and the other in Chinon. These associations work hard on passing know-how down through the generations.

Fruits "tapés"

The longstanding tradition of making fruits "tapés" was a way of preserving fruit. Cooked over a wood fire, the fruit was then beaten several times until it was flat. Apples and pears form the bulk of the fruit still produced today in some municipalities.

Basketry

In Villaines-les-Rochers (not far from Azay-le-Rideau), basket-making is a very important part of the village's identity. This know-how was not originally specific to the territory. But the village is now home to many of the last basket-makers in France. Villaines-les-Rochers has, as such, become the basket-making village, and has a museum on the subject.

 

Loire boatbuilding

The Loire and its tributaries used to be a primary thoroughfare for the transit of goods in times past (agricultural feed, stone, etc.). Nowadays, boats are associated with tourist demand and are used more for leisure activities. The fact that sailing on the Loire is a nature activity and encourages contemplation has helped to fan these pursuits.

Boating can be enjoyed all along the Loire Valley and the navigable tributaries, thanks to the many boating associations and local events held on the theme.