The noix du Périgord is a product of the Périgord heritage. Whether eaten as kernels or processed into oil, this little nut is appreciated for its distinctive flavour. With an AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) since 2004, noix du Périgord comes in four varieties (Marbot, Corne, Grandjean, Franquette), grown in the Dordogne, Charente, Corrèze and Lot. Spotlight on one of Périgorda presence since the dawn of time.

The history of the noix du Périgord

Present in the Périgord region for 17,000 yearswalnuts from the Périgord were already eaten by our ancestors. Indeed, walnut residues have been found in the dwellings of Cro-Magnon man. 

But from the 13th century onwards, it was walnut oil production rather than walnut kernels that made the region famous and profitable. In the 18th century, the walnut trade even became intense in the Dordogne.

The walnut tree thrives on deep, well-drained clay-limestone soils. The Vézère and Dordogne valleys are ideal for growing and harvesting walnuts.. However, in 1830, severe cold weather decimated the walnut groves and the walnut oil trade began to decline. 

Special varieties (Corne and Marbot) for the production of walnuts and walnut kernels (Grandjean) enabled exports to continue. In 1950, an industry was created around the noix du Périgord and in 2002, it was awarded the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC).

What are the best varieties of noix du Périgord?

©InstapadesStudio
Walnuts at a picnic in Les Eyzies

The Périgord, a production, harvesting and packaging area, is renowned for its 4 varieties of walnut. Each has its own taste and nutritional characteristics. 

The PDO guarantees the traceability and authenticity of walnuts from Périgord, produced in 612 municipalities (Dordogne, Lot, Corrèze and Charente).

La Marbot

Brownish in colour, the Marbot is a large, round nut with a water-rich, white, crunchy kernel. Its sweet flavour is subtle. It is harvested in mid-September. In the PDO, it is only sold as walnuts in shell.

La Corne

The Corne is a hardy nut. Sold in kernels and in shell, this variety is a great success: it is the table nut par excellence. Its sweet kernel makes it mild flavour. Under PDO, it can be eaten as a dry nut or as a kernel.

La Grandjean

Grandjean is a round, medium-sized variety of nut. It is only marketed as a PDO kernel. Its fleshy kernel is distinguished by a pronounced, slightly bitter taste, eaten fresh.

La Franquette

The Franquette, recognisable by its oblong shape, is a delicate nut recognisable by its blond kernel. The only variety to originate in Isère, it is available both as a walnut in the shell and as a kernel. 

Used in cooking in the form of oil, walnuts from Périgord can also be eaten fresh or dried. They are rich in omega 3 and 6, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. They also contain vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. In short, they have nothing but benefits.

Where can I find walnuts from Périgord?

To discover and enjoy them, you can buy walnuts or walnut-based products from Périgord:

  • on local markets;
  • direct sales with producers;
  • at department store;
  • in delicatessens.

And why not combine tourism and walnuts from Périgord by taking the " Route de la noix "You'll discover walnut groves, oil mills and restaurants?

When to pick walnuts?

They arrive at maturity between late September and late October. Harvesting begins as soon as the husk - the shell of the nut - opens and falls off. On the tree or on the ground, all that's left to do is pick or gather them.

What are the main culinary uses of walnuts from Périgord?

Walnuts from Périgord are products eaten on their own or used to create recipes original, creative and tasty. They are the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of sweet and savoury dishes. They can be used as a garnish in a salad, dessert or dish. Walnuts from Périgord can also be added to homemade cakes or biscuits.

Walnut kernels

Walnut kernels are perfect for add flavour and texture to your dishes. They're delicious on salads, cheese platters, desserts or even in main courses!

Walnut oil

Walnut oil adds subtle aromas to dishes. Walnut oil degrades rapidly under the effect of heat, so it is used exclusively in seasoning on salads or already cooked dishes. 

Pastries

Walnuts from the Périgord are perfect for cakes. They can be used to decorate tarte Tatin, tarte aux Périgord strawberriescheesecake or tiramisu. They give a smooth, creamy taste for your desserts.
A walnut cake that Montignac locals know well has even been named Lascaux. 

The dishes

Crushed or in kernels, walnuts from Périgord are the perfect accompaniment to foie grasThe perfect accompaniment to your meal. As an accompaniment, these products bring an original, typical Périgord flavour that will charm the taste buds of gourmets.

Was this content helpful?

Save

Share this content