Food and Cuisine in Bergerac
When it comes to food and cuisine, Central France/Perigord/Dordogne/Bergerac is a geographical intersection that results in this region being a gastronomic centre in France. On one hand you have abundant supplies of beef and dairy products - cream and cheese; and on the other geese and ducks plus truffles with farmed trout thrown in for good measure. The result is that the region has become renowned for rich dishes made with locally grown products.
Visits to local village markets let you get the true flavour of the essential “fresh is best” element of French country cuisine. The markets are great places to encounter regional producers who are always happy to share a little taste of their know-how!
About Bergerac Food
Bergerac brings together wonderful combination of wine and cuisine such the the sweet wines of Monbazillac and pate de foie gras (duck or goose liver pate) for the perfect start to any meal. Or combine semi-sweet wines of Saussignac with blue cheese or strawberries.
Look for Confit de Canard and Confit d’oie which are duck or goose joints cooked very slowly in their own fat. Also common are Ballotines (warm dishes of boned, stuffed, pressed poultry) and Galantines (the cold equivalents). Walnuts abound and walnut oil, Huile de Noix, is used in salads and seasonings—gives a delightful aroma to all cooking. Walnut cakes are popular
Pork is a favourite meat along with beef in Central France. With an abundance of corn, pork has dropped in price and is readily available. Enchaud, pork roast in lard, where a pork roast is seasoned, allowed to rest for 48 hours then slowly cooked for 2 to 3 hours. After cooking the roast is covered in cooking fat, sealed and left for 6 to 8 weeks before eating!
The Bergerac red wines, such as Red Bergerac or Red Cote de Bergerac or Percharmant, are ideal matches for red meat, game, duck, cheese and chocolate desserts.
Eating at a Village Restaurant
The French love of food is known universally and if you follow Rick Stein’s example and look no further than a village restaurant filled with locals, you will not go wrong. Le Lion D’or in the village of Saussignac is typical and great! Run by a couple who had “escaped” from running a busy restaurant in Bergerac town, they now enjoy providing excellent food for locals and visitors. Situated in the village square with tables both inside and out, it is the perfect place for a quiet lunch.
Today’s blackboard menu announces that you get an entrée, main and dessert plus wine all for the princely sum of 12 euros per person.
Blackboard menu - rapidly written up with evidence of daily changes!
Entree - Quiche Lorraine
Main - Roti de Porc
Dessert - le Fromage Gateau (cheesecake)
Boudin Noir aux Pommes Deserne
(Black Pudding with Apples)(right)
Forget all the tales about Black Pudding , this is delicious and especially good when coupled with Pommes Saradaises (Potatoes with garlic and much more!)
Huille de Gateau (Walnut Cake)
A regional delicacy that can be found in shops across Bergerac. The Dordogne produces over 60% of France’s walnuts. The walnuts were from the vineyard orchard. Serve with yogurt or ice cream.
Baked Trout with Crème Fraiche & Walnut Sauce
600gm potatoes, peeled & sliced 10 mm thick
Salt & ground black pepper
4 whole trout, approx. 500 gm each, gutted & scaled
1 heaped tbs grated fresh horseradish
250gm crème fraiche
1/2 Cup fresh walnuts, shelled & crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
Thyme, leaves only
1 Lemon sliced
- Preheat oven to 200ºC
- Dry sliced potatoes and lightly coat with goose fat. Season and place in single layer on oven pan. Place pan on oven shelf and roast for 15 minutes until crisp and golden
- Pat trout dry and slash each fish several times on both sides with a sharp knife. Rub with goose/duck fat and seasoning. Stuff fish cavity with thyme leaves and lemon slices. Cook for 12 minutes in upper oven level.
- While potatoes & fish are cooking, prepare sauce. Peel and grate fresh horseradish, prepared can be used but try to get the best, freshest product. Mix with the crème fraiche & walnuts. Season well. Squeeze over lemon juice.
Put fish & potatoes side by side and add crème fraiche sauce. Serve with a green salad and fresh bread. And of course, a good Bergerac dry white wine!
- Always select trout that are clear-eyed and smell fresh
- Take home in a chiller bag and put in refrigerator asap
- Delicate fish flavours require delicate flavoured herbs and spices - never over-cook fish