Lot Valley dishes and local produces
Every area of the Lot Valley offers traditional dishes and local produces. Take advantage of your stay and have delicious meals.
Its origin is Scandinavian because its main product is dried fish. It is said to have been imported by those who came down the Lot River to bring charcoal from the Decazeville region. It’s a savoury mixture of stockfish, boiled eggs, potatoes, garlic and Persil. It is mainly a dish from Almont les Junies in Aveyron but is also a Lozère dish.
This a traditional Aubrac dish. It is made from a puree of mashed potatoes, tomme cheese and crème fraîche. The mixture needs a lot of preparation to give it that stringiness and soft delicate taste.
The black truffle has three basic requirements: a certain type of tree (oak or hazelnut) limestone and a climate with a Mediterranean influence. The Lot provides all three and is one of the foremost truffle producing departments in France. The Black Pearl or Black diamond of Quercy is more than just an exceptional product, it’s a myth. To be found from December to March on the markets of Martel in the north and Lalbenque and Limogne in the South.
This is one of the oldest cheeses of France. From the Cantal district, it is named after the Cantal Mountains in the Auvergne region. There are two types of Cantal. The farmhouse Cantal is made from un-pasteurized milk and the Cantal laitier is made from pasteurized milk. Both have to respect strict quality controls. A Cantal cheese is shaped like a cylinder and one foot in diameter. This semi-hard cheese is aged for several months. The cheese has a soft interior. Its flavor, which is somewhat reminiscent of cheddar, is a strong, tangy butter taste and grows with age. A well ripened Cantal has a vigorous taste, while a young cheese has the sweetness of raw milk.
The tradition of raising these birds goes back to many centuries. Production has remained largely a small scale family run affair retaining individuality and guaranteeing the high quality of foie gras, confits, magrets, galantine and all the other delicious duck products.
It was in the 12th century that the Crusaders brought damson trees back from their Syrian expeditions. In the 13th century the monks from the Abbey of Clairac, crossed a damson tree with a local plum and created a new variety which they called the Ente plum, from the old French word "enter", meaning "to graft". The Clairac monks realised that the fruit could be preserved for an entire year once they had been dried in the sun. The story of the Agen prune had begun! Today this prune is protected by the appellation IGP (Protected Geographical identity) The prunes used to make the pruneaux d’Agen can only be from this region in order to be named “Pruneaux d’Agen”.
Wines of the Lot Valley
One of the best known appellations is “Cahors” which has a history dating back to the Roman Times. The key grape here is variously known as Malbec, and legally must represent 70% of the blend – the balance is made up with Merlot, or less commonly Tannat.
The wine of Cahors has a bright, often deep red colour tending to be almost black in some vintages. It is a tannic wine, very full in the mouth. With age it becomes more refined, velvety and attains some very distinguished aromas such as leather, chocolate, plums and tobacco!
The vale of Marcillac enjoys a mild climate which first allowed the monks of Conques to plant vines on the sheer slopes in the red soil, a mixture of clay and limestone known as “Rougiers” which characterises the region. It is here that the red and rosé wines of Marcillac are produced from the Fer Servadou grape called Mansois by the locals. Because of their slow fermentation, the wines of Marcillac are rich, dark and tannic with lots of body and a deep ruby blue. Kept away, they develop a refined bouquet with hints of raspberry and blackcurrant whilst retaining some residual tannic, a reflection of the soil in which they were born.
The Buzet Winemakers
Buzet is a charming village on the left bank of the delightful river Baïse, in the heart of the South-west. Since the days of the Roman legions, this "land of good living" has enjoyed a history as varied as the soils on the slopes of the twenty-seven communes in the appellation area. The Buzet Winemakers cooperative was founded in 1953 as a result of local winegrowers' desire to see their wine flourish as it had done in the centuries gone by. Initially VDQS, the Buzet wine region was awarded "Appellation Contrôlée" status in 1973. The Buzet Winemakers' winery has now become the Lot-et-Garonne department's most-visited tourist site. So why don't you come and join in the legend: come and taste the Buzet, come and enjoy it!
More information on www.vignerons-buzet.fr