Gourmet food & regional specialties
We could have gone for an à la carte A to Z list, but in the end we have opted for a menu with a choice of starter, main course, cheese AND dessert, just for good measure. So here are those famous specialities of Aquitaine…
As a starter…
After tasting some caviar from the Dordogne or Gironde, how about a few oysters from the Bay or Arcachon? Or perhaps some wafer-thin slices of 12-month matured Bayonne ham with Agen's melon or some lovely fresh foie gras fried with apple?
For your main course…
If you go for the garbure – a thick soup with cabbage, beans, salted meats and goose conserve – you are unlikely to need any other courses at all. Another typical Béarn dish is poule au pot, or chicken stew. In the nearby Basque Country, the obvious choice is a veal axoa or a piperade (both with the local peppers), while a freshly-caught lamprey from the estuary will be just the thing in the Gironde, prepared in the Bordeaux style, of course.
Then on to the cheese…
Pride of place goes to the ewe’s cheeses of the Pyrenean valleys of Ossau and Iraty, a long-standing tradition that continues to thrive today. In the Lot-et-Garonne, there is the cabécou goat’s cheese, while the Dordogne offers the cheeses of the Trappist Monastery of Echourgnac, a small village nestled in the heart of the Forêt de la Double.
And finally the dessert…
Agen prunes, Landes pastis – a close relation of the apple tourtière of the Lot-et-Garonne – Gateau Basque, of course, and the Bordeaux canelé and bouchon provide the most fitting climax to a meal worthy of the heartiest Gascon.
And of course, the drinks…
As an aperitif, why not try a Lillet Blanc? After that, there are the world-renowned vineyards of Bordeaux, the Lot-et-Garonne with its Buzet and Côtes-de-Duras, the Landes for their Tursan, the Basque Country and its Irouléguy and Béarn for Béarn-Bellocq, Jurançon and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh… And then an Armagnac, of course, to bring it all to a perfect finish with your coffee.
MarketsEpices, marché de Périgueux
Quality and atmosphere assured
- Markets are always an opportunity to discover and take part in daily village life… and to find delicious seasonal produce.
- Markets and fairs have always been a feature of life in our towns and villages For example, would you believe that Saturday has been market day in Dax since 1356. Every Monday in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, livestock and lambs take over the streets at dawn for the weekly market on Place du Trinquet.
- The most typical markets of Aquitaine are certainly the duck and goose markets selling the famous foie gras and other products from fattened birds.
- Between mid-October and the end of March, they are held all over the region, from Montignac to Orthez, Monségur to Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Aire-sur-l’Adour to Périgueux.
- Among the specialities of Aquitaine, we should mention the truffle markets – the black diamonds of Perigord. They are held in the winter season in a large number of villages in the Dordogne.
- Alongside these exceptional items, there are all the products of farms, market gardens and the nearby ocean bringing colour to market stalls, festivals and fairs over the course of the year.
- Bazas beef has its special festival on the Thursday before Shrove Tuesday, Pauillac lamb at the end of May, shad from the region’s rivers on the last weekend in June, Espelette chilli peppers in October and so on all year round!
- To wash down these different delights, every corner of Aquitaine has its wines from its local vineyards. Or you can enjoy it all in some of our good restaurants and learn how to prepare it at cookery lessons…