If I had to pick one thing I liked most about our French escapes - aside from spending time as a family, the fresh country air, and the chance to sit back and relax in the luxury of our villas… OK, it’s too hard to pick one! – there’s nothing like French cuisine. Scrumptious.
Next time you’re pondering a weekend break or umming and ahhing about booking a longer Dordogne getaway, imagine these culinary delights served to you with the added class of a French accent:
Black Périgord Truffles
Also known as ‘Diamonds of Périgold’, Black Truffles are the region’s unique delicacy. Look out for truffle dishes on the local menus or head to a French truffle market (typically held between December and March) where you’ll be drawn in by the subtle fragrance and earthy flavour which can be likened to rich chocolate.
If you do purchase some of Périgord’s truffle treasure, why not enjoy them like the locals with a Black Truffle Omelette for breakfast. Back at La Verger, pop fresh eggs and a black truffle into a basket and leave overnight. The next day the aroma will have spread into the eggs and will make a delicious omelette – on which you grate just a little more truffle. Voila.
If you’re fancying a hearty dish, perfect for warming the spirits on a winter weekend escape – try a cassoulet. This heavy stew comes from the province of Languedoc, but is a firm favourite in Dordogne too. Look out for the Cassoulet of Périgueux which is a mix of pork, lamb, sausages, and beans – sometimes with added duck confit. Make sure you order with plenty of chunky bread so the children can enjoy dunking it into this brothy favourite.
Cabécou Goat’s Cheese
Cabécou has a deliciously soft and creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste acquired from the maturation process - in which it’s dipped in brandy! As the cheese ages, it grows a blue mould, and becomes smellier and hard enough to grate. Perfect with a cold glass of Chardonnay.
Dordogne food is unapologetically rich, so after a few days of feasting you might want to opt for a lighter option. At lunch, try the Salades Composées which are salads topped with meats and cheese. Something which can easily be recreated back at the villa if you’re having a lazy day by the pool…
Simple but delicious, you’ll find this dish on every regional menu in the Dordogne; Potatoes, fried in goose or duck fat and garlic then tossed in parsley. A divine side to duck confit.
Pastis du Quercy
Time for something the children will love – the sweet delight of a Pastis du Quercy. These apple pastry desserts used to be reserved for high occasions but can now be bought, freshly baked, at local markets.
Another sweet French treat the Dordogne’s love is Bordeaux’ canelé. These petite rum and vanilla flavour pastries have a soft custard middle and a caramelised crust. You’ll find them everywhere from the bakeries and patisseries to the supermarkets.
Let’s finish with a quick round-up of the region’s finest tipples – because you’re on holiday after all! You’ll already know that Bergerac is famous for its wine (being home to some of the world’s most-loved vintages) so there’s plenty to try, but don’t miss: Côtes de Bergerac sweet white wines, Côtes de Bergerac red wine, Bergerac dry white wine, and Bergerac’s red and rosé. It would be rude not to?