Flavors of the Midi-Pyrénées Region > Tarn-et-Garonne
The Quercy Melon has dense flesh and sweet honeyed flavour and during in the month of June its fragrance wafts over the market stalls. It ripens in the intense warmth of the sun and is raised with great care on the clay-limestone plateaus on the borders of Tarn-et-Garonne and the Lot. The fruit is gathered early in the day when its aroma is at its most concentrated. Quercy Melon holds an IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) and a Certification de Conformité.
The department of Tarn-et-Garonne is a paradise for Barbary ducks which are raised here in total freedom. From this organic production come not only foies gras, but also beautiful thick breast filets or fine aiguillettes (thin strips) served grilled, and also gently conserved legs and wings. The duck is a source of boundless invention and is an absolute must at all good restaurants in Tarn-et-Garonne as, in fact, it is all over the region.
Greengages with Label Rouge, kiwis, Gala, Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, Burlat or Moissac cherries, Ente plums, peaches and Chasselas grapes with an AOC, Tarn-et-Garonne is the land of fruit par excellence. Covered with orchards from the slopes of the Quercy to the terraces of the Garonne, it holds first place in France for dessert plums, and second for apples, grapes and melons. Its producers are keen to reduce to the minimum the use of pesticides and maximize procedures which protect the environment. Tarn-et-Garonne produces up to 320,000 tons a year of good, healthy fruit, most of which is exported.
With an AOVDQS (Appellation d’Origine Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure), the wines of the Côteaux du Quercy have acquired a good reputation and, supple and full-bodied, they can be aged. The vines cover the slopes which lay astride the Tarn-et-Garonne and the Lot.
The Chasselas de Moissac is an exceptional grape which was the first fresh fruit to obtain, in 1971, an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée). Bite into its translucent fruit and a sweet and exquisitely fresh juice is released. Each bunch is cut by hand and handled with respect worthy of a work of art. This grape celebrated in Moissac at markets and during festivals first brought fame to the town in the 19th century.
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