Truffles, the Périgord diamond
Tuber Mélanostrum is the best-known and most sought-after mushroom in the region. Truffles sublimates and perfumes dishes with its distinctive aroma. Although truffle-growers have abandoned the use of pigs in favour of trained dogs, they continue to harvest truffles from mid-November to mid-March. This practice is called "cavage" and requires a great deal of know-how passed down from one generation to the next. The Vézère Valley and the Dordogne are full of oak and hazelnut trees that truffles are particularly fond of. To buy this black diamond, go to the markets and don't miss the truffle festival in Sarlatwhich takes place every year in mid-January!
Foie gras: goose or duck?
Present in south-west France since the 17th century, foie gras production is renowned for the rigorous selection of its geese and ducks. These palmipeds are regularly celebrated at the region's various foie gras markets, particularly in Montignac-Lascaux, Thiviers and Sarlat. Goose or duck, it's a question of taste, but you can enjoy foie gras in a variety of ways:
- Raw: it can be pan-fried or prepared for canning;
- Fresh: this means that it has already been cooked in a bain-marie ;
- Semi-cooked: melting, it is eaten fresh, after being cooked;
- Cooked or tinned: blocks of liver can be kept for a long time.
And don't hesitate to opt for PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) foies gras.
Perigord caviar, the black gold
Yes, you read that right: Périgord also produces caviar. Sturgeons are bred in vast fish farms. This black gold, like the truffle, is particularly prized by gourmets for making specialities of local gastronomy.
Duck confit, a must on any Périgord table
The duck is the real star of Périgord gourmet tables. And if you want to eat it all year round, duck confit is the ideal solution. Whether jarred or tinned, it's the perfect accompaniment to winter meals, with porcini mushrooms cooked in fat, for example.
Happiness is in the (quality) duck, at any time of year! You can buy them direct from the farmYou can buy them from a producer, in a speciality shop or at the market! And have you tried duck rillettes? This is another option for enjoying duck.
The Périgord strawberry, eight varieties to discover
Did you know that more than 55,000 tonnes of strawberries are produced in the Dordogne? The region's soils are particularly well-suited to the production of France's favourite fruit. Thanks to mild temperatures, light soil and southern exposure, strawberries come in 8 different varieties. From Cléry and Gariguette to Charlotte and Mara des Bois, you're bound to find a strawberry to your liking! And you're in luck: you can eat them from April to October!
Walnuts, the nuggets of Périgord
Residues of nuts have been found in Cro-Magnon dwellings: that just goes to show how closely the walnut is linked to the region's history! It has to be said that the walnut is particularly fond of the clay-limestone soils of the Vézère valley in the Dordogne. Over the years, this small nut has even contributed to the development of the walnut oil trade and the enrichment of the region. As with strawberries, walnuts come in several varieties, produced in an area covering more than 600 communes in 4 different départements (Dordogne, Lot, Corrèze and Charente).
And why not put together your own box of local specialities at a price to suit you? From jars of duck confit to regional wines accompanied by walnuts and truffles... You're spoilt for choice when it comes to taking a slice of Périgord Noir gastronomy home with you!