Lyon is France's gastronomic capital—a preeminence that almost certainly stems from its privileged geography. Alpine streams to the east supply the city with pike, trout, and crayfish. The Dombes plateau, to the northeast, abounds in game, and the plain of Bresse, beyond that, produces France's finest chickens (which, with their red combs, white plumage, and blue feet, are also its most patriotic). Due north lie the vineyards of Beaujolais, which yield fruity, inexpensive red wines that are best drunk young, while just a few miles farther, the Maconnais region turns out fresh, lively white wines—most notably pouilly-fuisse. The unremarkable village of Charolles, to the northwest, gives its name to the best French beef cattle—the white Charolais, raised in the pastures surrounding the town. Superb cheeses are close at hand, too: fourme d'ambert, cantal, and st-nectaire from the Auvergne, southwest of Lyon; st-marcellin, rumored to have been King Louis XI's favorite, from the Isere to the southeast. The Rhone Valley, south of the city, produces great wines (condrieu, cote rotie, hermitage) and fruit (raspberries, cherries, peaches, pears), and in the days before railroads and superhighways, the Rhone itself provided a convenient route north for good things from Provence and Italy—which may be why macaroni and cheese became a popular dish in Lyon and why so many Lyonnais seem to have black hair and olive skin.