French Gastronomy per Regions 2/6 : The Southwest

Part two of our culinary “Tour de France”

The South West region starts pretty much in Bordeaux and ends against the Pyrenees Mountain chain and Spain. It’s known for the Bordeaux Wines and Languedoc Roussillon region.

Many dishes are prepared with duck fat and I can already hear you scream at the cholesterol rate, well you should know that this region of France with its food and climate is the one of the longest longevity region of France with an average of nearly 80 years old and the main difference with the South East longevity is that most of people are natives to the region while in the South East area retired move to the region. Our St Germain has a touch of south east flavour, join us to find out more.

Bordering Spain the region also traded with the then Maurish Spain to get north African spices such as cardamom, ginger and cinnamon

Local ingredients in cuisine

  • Piment d’espelette (flagrant but not hot red chilli pepper from Espelette region)
  • Black Truffle 
  • Duck and duck fat
  • Foie gras
  • North African spices

Local drinks

  • Bordeaux wines (Chateaux, Petrus, St Emilion, Merlot…)
  • Sweet white wines (Montbazillac, Cadillac…)
  • Armagnac
  • Languedoc Roussillon wines (Corbières, Limoux, Clairette, Muscat, St Chinia…)
  • Izara (Basque pine tree based liqueur)

And here are some very local dishes  

  • Potatoes roasted in duck fat with garlic
  • Piperade (a stir fry of red pepper, tomatoes, onions, garlic and piments cf.above) 
  • Duck gizzards salad with walnuts
  • Any duck recipes from grilled breast to stew
  • Jambon de Bayonne
  • Bordeaux and Basque style chicken stew

Desserts or sweets

  • Cannelé (a small size cake prepared with a crêpe style batter, rhum and caramelized sugar around it)
  • Poached pear with red wine
  • Basque tarte 
  • Walnuts tart

As part of our introduction to French gastronomy our award wining Food Tours always contain some regional flavouring.

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