Some general information about Périgord gastronomy…
The Perigord black truffle is harvested from mid-November to mid-March often under truffle oaks with the help of a truffle dog, a pig or a fly. We call “cavage”, the action of digging the ground to look for truffles.
This truffle has an incomparable smell of undergrowth, earth and humus, sublimated by roasted dried fruits. Its finely peppered taste reminds the already mentioned smells. It embellishes everything that is in contact with it.
The truffle season is punctuated by marches with controlled truffles, from December to February, notably in Sorges and its Truffle Ecomuseum, Ste Alvère, in Périgueux, where the courses are set.
Noix du Périgord
Intensively cultivated in Périgord since the 19th century. The ‘Noix du Périgord’ has had an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlé) since 2002. Its terroir extends over 4 departments: Dordogne (mostly), Lot, Corrèze and Charente.
4 varieties enter the AOC:
- The ‘corne’, sweet-flavored horn.
- The ‘marbot’ whose taste reminds the almond not dried
- The ‘grandjean’, nut of character with a marked taste associated with a hint of bitterness.
- The ‘franquette’, with a very delicate nutty taste.
The AOC noix du Périgord found its European extension in 2004 by transforming itself into a PDO (protected designation of origin).
The development of strawberry growing in the department began in the 1950s and the Périgord strawberry now accounts for a quarter of French production. Several varieties are grown by around 200 producers in the Périgord and are admitted to the Protected Geographical Indication.
The gariguette, the darselect open the spring dance. Then comes the turn of the rising strawberries. They are harvested in summer and until early autumn: the mara des Bois, the charlotte, the cirafine and the seascape.
Every year, on the 3rd Sunday in May, the Strawberry and Flower Festival is organised in Vergt. You can enjoy a piece of the giant strawberry pie prepared for the occasion.
Chestnuts and Perigord Chestnuts
The chestnut tree is one of the most widespread species in Périgord. For a time synonymous with food for the poor, the chestnut will experience a new boom from the eighties. The renewed interest it enjoys is based among other things on its food and dietary quality: for example chestnut flour is gluten-free. Production in the Périgord Limousin is positioned essentially on the fresh produce market.
The main varieties produced locally are La Montagne, la Belle Epine, la Roussette, la Casagnole.
Harvested in autumn, fresh or dried, it is consumed all year round, perfumes terrines and puddings, accompanies meat and goes into the composition of desserts. Edible chestnut (not to be confused with horse chestnut) is also a chestnut, but grows on cultivated chestnut trees, as opposed to wild chestnut trees. Since October 1st 2015, the “Marrons Label Rouge” certification distinguishes the South-West chestnuts, for the most beautiful fruits of the Bouche de Bétizac, Marigoule and Bournette varieties.
Ceps sometimes grow in June but they are mostly autumn mushrooms. Some specific markets take place in the department according to the season. The Perigordians generally have “their cep corners” and it is difficult to make them deliver their secret. It is easier to go to the markets, especially Villefranche-du-Périgord, to buy them.
The youngest can themselves, the others are to be tasted immediately. Know that the boletus does not wash itself but it wipes itself with a cloth after having cleared the foot of the ground. There are also cep knives… At the end of each summer, in Villefranche du Périgord, under the half-timbered hall, buyers come to buy ceps and other mushrooms, chanterelles and “feet of fresh and “local” sheep.
Only locals are allowed to sell their harvest.
The Périgord apple benefits from the Pomme du Limousin PDO. It is the only apple in France to be PDO (protected designation of origin). The production area is spread over the north-east of the Dordogne, Haute-Vienne, Creuse and Corrèze. It is a golden different from the other goldens because the soil from which it comes gives it its characteristics.
It is crisp, juicy and slightly acidic.
Wine production is mainly concentrated in the bergeracois. It has 13 Appellations of Controlled Origin.
It is, according to all probability, the Romans who planted the first vineyard in Bergerac, and in the first century of our era the poet Ausone, winegrower and consul, praised already the excellence of the vintages born on the banks of the Dordogne.
The protected geographical indication’Périgord’ is reserved for still red, rosé and white wines produced in the Dordogne and in the municipality of the Lot department (Salviac).
The 18th century maps show that the vineyard was situated along the Dordogne Valley with two main poles around Bergerac and Domme. Today, he focuses mainly on the canton of Domme and Bergerac.
The red and rosé wines are blended from cabernet-sauvignon and franc, merlot, sometimes supplemented with Côt and more rarely with servadou iron and mérille. The red wines stand out for their suppleness and roundness, and the rosés by their fruity nose and a beautiful freshness on the finish. The whites benefit from semillon, sauvignon blanc and gris, muscadelle, ugni blanc, ondenc and chenin. They are quite fruity, light on the palate but with a nice volume and a hint of acidity on the finish.
– LES ROUGES –
BERGERAC AND CÔTES DE BERGERAC:
PÉCHARMANT ” le Saint-Émilion du Bergeracois ” ” le Saint-Émilion du Bergeracois “.
– THE ROSES –
Expanding production in the region
– DRY WHITES –
BERGERAC AND MONTRAVEL
– THE SOFT WHITES –
CÔTES DE BERGERAC MOELLEUX, SAUSSIGNAC, HAUT-MONTRAVEL, ROSETTE, CÔTES DE MONTRAVEL :
– SWEET WHITES –
Since 1992, Cabécou du Périgord has been protected by a trademark and a visual identity. It meets a precise charter and must be made and matured in Périgord with goat’s milk produced in Périgord. Cabécou du Périgord takes the form of a small, thin and creamy puck with a pale yellow rind. It is mainly consumed young and then releases a very fine hazelnut aroma.
The oldest cheese in Périgord is the Trappe d’Echourgnac: when the monks from the abbey of Port du Salut in Mayenne came to settle in Echourgnac to help the inhabitants of the Double, they created a cheese dairy where they made the famous Port Salut, originally from the abbey from which they came. Today, the famous Trappe d’Echourgnac, natural or with walnut liqueur, is made in Echourgnac.
Crocus Sativus. Red gold from the Périgord Noir. Périgord has always been associated with culinary art with its foie gras, truffle, strawberries, vines, walnuts, ceps…
For several centuries, another culture had participated in its development, saffron. His culture had lost much of its vitality, but here it is again, reborn in recent years. The soil on which the vines thrived is perfectly suited to this crocus, as are the limestone soils, poor but sunny, facing south or southeast.
Harvest around October-November.
Honey is found in all French regions but thanks to the density of wood and preserved nature, the Dordogne is known for producing honeys of excellent quality.
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