Flavors of the Midi-Pyrénées Region > Lot
The Agneau fermier du Quercy is, with lamb from the Aveyron or the Garonne Pyrenees for example, one of the five producers grouped under the hallmark Agneau del Païs. This name applies to regional breeders keen on defending the unequalled quality of their meat as well as a method of breeding based on respect for the animal and the cycles of nature. Raised on their mother’s milk, the delicate Quercy lamb benefits from a Label Rouge.
A small, round disk in an ivory-coloured skin, Rocamadour AOC cheese made from fresh un-pasteurized goat’s milk, has been produced on the Causses du Quercy since the 15th century. Like Rocamadour, the vertiginous village on the cliff whose name it carries, the cheese also reaches dizzy heights. Aromatic and creamy, seasoned with a little salt and butter, it’s irresistibly tasty.
Walnut trees have always lined the Dordogne river in the north of the Lot. In 2002 the walnut obtained an AOC Noix du Périgord, in recognition of an exceptional and adaptable product. It can be used as an oil, as an aperitif (vin de noix), or in a cake or dessert. Gâteau aux noix goes well with Vieille Prune de Souillac, a classy plum brandy made since 1905 by the Louis Roques distillery in Souillac.
The history of the Vignoble AOC Cahors goes back to François I in the 16th century, and is one of the most famous in the Southwest. The sun, the terrain and the know-how combined with the main grape variety, the Auxerrois, backed up by Tanat and Merlot, guarantee the flamboyant personality of this wine. Pleasant when young, many of these wines are good enough to lay-down. In the Lot Valley,
between Cahors and Puy-l’Eveque, where 70 per cent of the vineyards are concentrated, the wines are strong, robust and very fruity. On the causses, above Cahors, they are more subtle and elegant.
The most elite ingredient of Midi-Pyrenees gastronomy, foie gras, is the business of small producers in the Lot who maintain the best country traditions. Foie gras may be served in an infinite variety of ways. It may, for example, be enhanced by the subtle and inebriating perfume of the black Quercy truffle, harvested in winter around the village of Lalbenque. The production of about 3 to 10 tons a year is relatively small, nevertheless the Lot remains a bastion of the true truffle whose quality helps maintain the prestige of French cuisine.
The Croustillot is a bread made with 100% Lot flour with an hazelnut taste.
Midi- Pyrenees holds the key to this ultra-luxurious cooking ingredient which been coveted since time immemorial. In the Lot Valley the small saffron plants start to bloom in October. Mauve petals protect bright orange stigmas which have to be gathered in a very precise manner. This most precious of spices, cultivated and produced by experts, has been part of the history of the Quercy since the time of the Crusades.
- First Saturday in June: the Cheese Fair in Rocamadour.
- Last Saturday in October: the Saffron Festival in Cajarc.
- Last Sunday of October: the Walnut Fair at Thégra
- Last week of January, the Truffle Fair at Lalbenque
(market every Tuesday, December to March).
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