Midi-Pyrenees Gastronomy - Foie Gras
The Crème de la crème of duck dishes...
The foie gras duck of the Southwest has held a Label Rouge quality mark since 1989. This mark offers the consumer a guarantee that the products they are buying come from birds that have been raised, force-fed, slaughtered and processed in Southwest France (the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine regions). Nearly 900 Midi-Pyrénées producers hold this quality mark.
Furthermore, since 2000, duck foie gras produced in Gers has enjoyed an IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) status specific to this department.
In France, we have a saying that every part of a pig is fit to eat. Likewise, for the people of Midi-Pyrénées, every single part of a duck can be cooked up into a tasty treat. In this part of the world, as well as eating foie gras, they feast all year round on aiguillettes and grilled duck fillets (pieces of duck breast). Duck fillets can also be dried and smoked, then served up with green salads, which are delicious with gizzards too.
Confit, in other words duck legs, wings, fillet or manchon de canard cooked in its own fat, is an unmissable example of regional gastronomy. Even the duck’s carcass is considered to add a gourmet touch to the simplest of soups. In Midi-Pyrénées, pure duck fat is used in cooking, frying or to bring out the flavor of dishes, in place of traditional cooking oil.
The menu is also likely to feature duck scratching, pâtés and terrines, served either plain or flavored with such delights as truffles, figs or Armagnac. These recipes are handed down from generation to generation by families for whom food is often a passion.