The Dordogne is stuffed with gastronomic delights. Why not spend your next holiday discovering more about them? The overview of products listed below should help to get you started...
Canard - duck / Oie - goose
Duck in some form or other is always on the local menu. One typical method of preparation is confit, where the duck meat is cooked in its own fat, before being sterilised in preserves and then later reheated before eating. The remaining duck fat can be used when cooking to give dishes a hearty Périgord taste.
Don't miss the La maison d'oie et du canard (the duck and goose museum) in Thiviers.
Foie Gras - duck and goose liver
The foie gras, one of the best known gastronomic specialties of the Périgord, is produced by fattening up the duck or the goose to produce an extended liver. Foie gras can be fried briefly or prepared as a pâté de foie gras de canard/d'oie. There are plenty of farms in the region to visit if you wish to learn more about the production of this delicacy.
Truffe - truffle
The truffle, or "diamant noir" (black diamand), is a mushroom that grows underground at the roots of special truffle oaks (truffiers). Just a little piece of truffle is enough to give a very delicious taste and aroma to dishes. The truffle can be used in many ways, such as in an omelet (omelette au truffe), or blended with foie gras de canard or d'oie to make a pâté de foie gras de canard/d'oie truffé. Don't miss the écomusée de la truffe (the truffle museum) in Sorge.
Cèpes - boletus
In the early autumn, after a few days of rain and on a sunny morning, cèpes (boletus) swell quickly. These delicious mushrooms can be cooked fresh in an omelette aux cèpes (omelet with boletus), or prepared in preserves.
Châtaigne - Marron - chestnut
Périgord deserves the name "Pays de la Châtaigne" (land of the chestnut). Chestnuts are delicious served hot, sweetened or salted. They complement meat and fish, and are especially delicious when served with pâté de foie gras de canard/d'oie. In autumn you will see mounds of chesnuts, or Marron as the largest are called, at the markets in Belvès or Villefranche-du-Périgord; the latter village also houses the écomusée de la châtaigne et du champignon (chestnut and mushroom museum).
Fraise - strawberry
As its name suggests, the "Fraise du Périgord" is grown only in the Dordogne and represents 25% of the country's strawberry cultivation. Périgord strawberries have been awarded the "Label Rouge" quality mark. If visiting in May, visit "La Fête de la Fraise" (the strawberry festival) in Vergt, located in the Périgord Blanc, between Périgueux and Bergerac.
Noix - walnut
After harvesting in autumn (about October), these nuts are dried, sorted and cracked (using a special hammer). Good quality, whole walnuts are sugared or used to make chocolates. Inferior walnuts are used to make huile de noix (walnut oil), which is delicious on salads. The Eco Musée de la Noix in Castelnaud (walnut museum) is always worth a visit, and the Route de la noix, along walnut plantations in the region, is also a pleasure.
Pomme - apple
At the end of summer when the apple harvest begins, Lanouaille, 20 km north of Tourtoirc and the centre of the apple-growing area, comes to life as truck loads of apples start their journey across the country. Nothing is wasted, and those apples which fall to the ground are used to produce cidre. If you would like to know more about la pomme, visit the apple museum (La Maison de la Pomme d'Or) in Lanouaille.
Vigne - vineyard
The Dordogne's vineyards stretch across Bergerac. In Bergerac, 500.000 hectolitres of wine are produced: half of which is red, the other half white wine. Some of the best known wines include Bergerac, Côtes de Bergerac, Pécharmant, Bergerac rosé, Montbazillac, moelleux. You can find several small private vineyards all over the Dordogne.