Delicious meals, wines, colorful harvest festivals and farmers markets
Traditionally, the Dordogne is already known as the gastronomic center of France. There are many famous dishes from the Perigord region.The cuisine of the Périgord has its roots in traditional recipes based around wonderful local products. Markets bear witness to the culinary abundance and high quality of products which are part of daily life here; this is particularly the case in winter when the market stalls are overflowing with the region’s most famous products, in particular truffles, duck and goose specialities.
The black Périgord truffle and foie gras. Reaching maturity after the first frosts of the winter, the black Périgord truffle (or Tuber Melanosporum) is the most aromatic truffle of the world’s seventy species of truffle, with a special harvesting technique relaying on the use of an animal “truffler”, which nowadays is most frequently a dog. From January onwards, local products can be found on stalls in the markets at Sorges, Périgueux, Excideuil, Sainte Alvère and Sarlat. Foie gras, products from both ducks and geese, is another one of the Périgord’s star seasonal products. The quality of which is assured by the IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée)label, guaranteeing that foie gras is produced within the boundaries of the “Canard à foie gras du Sud-Ouest Périgord” appellation. Goose foie gras is currently in the process of obtaining IGP status. From November to February, small producers can be seen selling foie gras and other duck and goose products such as confits, gizzards and fat in our local award-winning duck and goose markets.
Cep mushrooms, Périgord walnuts and chestnuts. Cep mushrooms are most often used in fricassee dishes and stuffings, as well as in pommes de terre à la Sarladaise, a typical potato dish from Sarlat. Dependent upon the weather, mushrooms start to appear in our region in August and September. In Monpazier, or under the half-timbered covered market in Villefranche du Périgord, “locals” are the only people allowed to sell their harvest. The onset of autumn also brings with it the annual walnut harvest, where production in the département is the second highest in France. This delicious nut can be enjoyed in myriad ways, either on its own or as the main ingredient in oils, liqueurs, jams, cakes or sweets. In 2001, four varieties were awarded AOC “Périgord walnut” status, namely the Corne, Marbot, Franquette and Granjean walnuts. A journey along the Walnut Route (Route de la Noix) is the perfect way of finding out more about this emblematic nut. The chestnut tree is one of the most widely found species in the Périgord and is grown for its wood, its hoop-shaped branches and its fruit. The chestnut is an integral part of our culinary heritage.
Périgord strawberries. Six varieties of strawberry are grown in our region, in particular on the slopes around the village of Vergt in the Périgord Blanc:
– the Garriguette, a spring strawberry
– the Elsanta, a Dutch variety
– the Cigaline
– the Seascape, Mara and Selva, varieties known as “double-cropping.”
The second largest strawberry-producing département in France, the Périgord’s priority is to produce fruit of the highest quality. Strawberries planted in the open on specially selected strips of land, and with a guaranteed minimum sugar content, have been awarded the “Fraise du Périgord” IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) label.
Bergerac wines. Of all these quality products are traditional and tasty dishes prepared, the local Vins de Bergerac is an excellent table lady. Whether he’s red, white or rosé, the wine makes the meal an unforgettable moment.The Bergerac vineyards are another important part of our prestigious heritage. The area encompasses a superb variety of wines with thirteen AOC appellations spread across 13,000 hectares of vineyards. Production is mainly red and white, with some rosé also produced.
Appellations d’Origine Contrôlées:
Reds: AOC Bergerac, Côtes de Bergerac, Pécharmant and Montravel
Dry whites: AOC Bergerac and Montravel
Semi-sweet whites: AOC Côtes de Bergerac, Côtes de Montravel, Haut Montravel, Saussignac and Rosette
Sweet whites: AOC Monbazillac
Rosés: AOC Bergerac
In order to promote this extraordinary wine heritage, the Maison des Vins de la Région de Bergerac has developed a special Wine Route(Route des vins). Members of the “Destination Vignobles” association situated along the route will be delighted to share their knowledge and passion for wine with visitors.
Wine lovers and other interested parties can book a package wine tour for a lively journey through the world of wine and everything related to it.
The Dordogne also offers unbeatable value for money in its numerous restaurants, as shown by the many distinctions awarded by food guides. The region also has twenty or so Michelin-starred establishments or highly recommended restaurants with a reputation for high-quality yet reasonably priced fare. Why not try some of the specialities of our local chefs, thirty of whom have come together as part of “Les Toques du Périgord”(Chef’s Hat) association.