Epicureans and gourmets know the Périgord for its quality cuisine and produce. For more than three centuries, Périgord-style fare has been gaining an international reputation for its star products including goose, duck and foie gras; truffles, walnuts and chestnuts; Bergerac wines; goats’ cheeses, strawberries and mushrooms. Foodies can choose between enjoying a meal in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants or seeking out one of the smaller, reputed country inns that also feature quality products and talented chefs. Along the tourist-oriented gourmet routes, you will encounter the people who produce and prepare these delicacies.
Domaine de Huso, located between Périgueux and Bordeaux in the heart of gourmet Dordogne, has been breeding sturgeon for the production of Neuvic caviar since 2011. Its 19 hectares of breeding ponds draw fresh water from the River Isle, along the banks of which cling beautiful holm oaks, willows and poplars. The caviar is golden brown with a creamy texture – the butter version (beurre de caviar), with 33% caviar content, is more commonly used to flavour dishes or eaten on bread as an aperitif.
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The Périgord strawberry
The strawberry is seductive for its shape, flavour and colour – and has one of the highest vitamin C contents of all fruits. It’s found in many Dordogne dishes from salads to mousses to amuses bouches, used by a range of great chefs. Taste it with chocolate fondue or in the form of a gratin of red fruits with crumble; in a coulis with mascarpone or in 'gariguettes' doused with Monbazillac wine. Buy them from Dordogne's plentiful spring and autumn markets and eat them straight away!
The black Périgord truffle
There was a time when the truffle was eaten like any other mushroom. From the 2.5kg of tubers needed for a truffled turkey, to one large truffle per person in a salad according to the Mazille, the recipes of the beginning of the 20th century are the dreams of today's foodies. In modern times it's eaten in reasonable quantities in sauces, risottos or purées, with 8-15g per person in meat dishes or scrambled eggs. For a simple dessert, think of mixing some grated truffle into custard and the egg whites for iles flottantes - it will surprise and delight all your guests.