Flavors of the Midi-Pyrénées Region > Hautes-Pyrénées
A recipe which goes back to many generations, garbure is a typical soup from the Pyrenees made with Haricots Tarbais, cabbage and potatoes, among other things. Each inn or restaurant in the mountains has its own version of the recipe. The longer the garbure simmers – sometimes for as long as several days – the better it is. It’s the ideal energy-giving food for hikers; it’s served at all seasons, and doesn’t stand on ceremony.
Black from head to tail, the Porc Noir Gascon leads a totally natural life on the borders of the Hautes-Pyrénées and the Gers. It is pampered by 40 or so breeders, it has the freedom gamble and frolic in meadow and undergrowth, feeding on acorns and home-produced grain and in 2001 this high-quality product was awarded a Certification de Conformité Produit. It is marketed under the Noir de Bigorre label, and as fresh meat, or made into sausages or ham, its distinctive flavour, texture and aroma is unmistakable.
Gâteau à la broche resembles a golden pyramid or a sugar pine. The pride of the Hautes-Pyrénées, it is cooked above an open fire and takes several patient hours to cook because the mixture is poured slowly onto the mould while it turns on a spit. Thought to have been brought back from the Balkans by Napoleon’s soldiers, the mixture is composed of flour, eggs, butter, rum and vanilla. Sculpted by the flames into tender spikes and peaks, it is a spectacular shape and has become a cake to share on every special occasion.
The Vignoble de Madiran, which span the borders of Hautes-Pyrenees, Gers and Pyrenees-Atlantiques, have had an AOC since 1948. Entirely restructured, they benefit from demanding methods of cultivation. The wines are now considered to have considerable poise and acquire body from the Tannat grape, tempered with a small amount of Cabernet. The Madiran encompasses another miniscule AOC, Pacherenc du Vic Bilh. This is especially well-known for its golden-tinted white wines, produced from grapes which are harvested late and have almost crystallized on the vine.
The Haricot Tarbais is a marvel, with a pearly dress, tender skin, low starch content, and incomparable succulence once cooked. However, not so long ago this typical local vegetable had almost disappeared, victim of intensive farming. Luckily, certain enthusiasts took up the cause and here it is today with a Label Rouge. It is grown on netting strung out across the fields and picked by hand.
Superb onion, sweet and tender... so sweet that you can bite in it. More! You do not cry when you peel it. In the city of Trébons you can assist to its festival the first weekend of June.
It's a cake made with buckwheat flour, butter and sugar to accompany rice pouding.
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