Flavors of the Midi-Pyrénées region > Aveyron
A tasty invention of the Northern Aveyron, le pounti, is a cake made from garden herbs and prunes, which is eaten warm or cold.
The aligot is a potato puree divinely enhanced by localf resh white tome (cheese) which spectacularly spins long, softthreads. Simple, delicious and without guile, it resembles the great spaces of the Aubrac. Tome, if not used in aligot becomes, after maturing, the famous Laguiole cheese with an AOC.
Aubrac cattle, identified by their fawn coats and eyes outlinedi n black, graze from May to September on the luxuriant summer meadows which are the crowning glory of the high plateaux of the Aubrac (800-1000 metres). Natural feeding and constant care have produced this full flavoured, high-quality symbol of beef farmed in the Aveyron. Le Boeuf Fermier de l’Aubrac was awarded a Label Rouge (denoting high quality) in 1999
The first French food product to obtain an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), the prestigious Roquefort cheese, symbolizes the perfect relationship between the genius of nature and of man. Natural caves which formed from cracks in the limestone escarpment of Combalou in the village of Roquefort, were adapted in the 17th century to receive the round cheese, made from the milk of the Lacaune ewes. The cheeses wait patiently on 10 underground levels until the emerald veining appears and they are ready to reign supreme among cheeses. Roquefort is at its best served, like good red wine, at room temperature.
La Fouace de Laguiole is a densely-textured brioche enhanced with orange-flower water which was originally reserved for special occasions but is delicious at any time. One of the specialities of the Midi-Pyrenees, its origins are lost in the mists of time but its flavour remains engraved on the life of the region.
In Aveyron, a meal is not a meal without a traditional patisserie : you can try also almond croquants, échaudés à l'anis, Gateau a la broche (a cone-shaped cake cooked for several hours on a stick by the fire).
A small wine growing area (180 hectares) and the micro-climate of the Marcillac valley (near Rodez) is a delight for the initiated. Young Marcillac wine has a bouquet of red fruit andspices which, as it ages, becomes more robust and lusty. Its history is closely linked to the great Romanesque abbey of Conques. The Aveyron shelters further wine-growing districts along the Lot Valley, Entraygues, Fel and Estaing, as well as the terraced Côtes de Millau in the extreme south of the department.
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