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Eating local products in Southwest France from markets or shops

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My spouse and I will be travelling through Southwest France mid to late November. We won't be eating from restaurants--instead I hope you will help us find local foods and produce. We are looking for fine bakeries, fromageries, charcuteries, and the occasional supermarket. Whenever possible (given the complications of our itinerary) we will visit the market in the town we're in. Perhaps not a great time for seasonal produce.....

We will be visiting Albi, Rodez, Conques, Rocamadour, Brive-la-Gaillarde (briefly), Soulliac, Périgueux, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Cahors, Moissac and Toulouse.

I know, for example, that Rocamadour has it's own goat cheese. But where is a good place to buy it? We will not be able to cook anything, but we'll eagerly try anything ready to eat.

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  1. Most of those places will have farmers' markets, where you can pick up wonderful food.

    Toulouse has a huge covered market, with lots of great food shops surrounding it.
    Brive and Cahors also have good markets, though smaller.
    Souillac, where we go every Friday, smaller still but good food nonetheless.

    Cabecou de Rocamadour can be found in all these markets, as will foie gras.

    It's always a good time to eat here.

    10 Replies
    1. re: carlux

      "It's always a good time to eat here." This statement makes me happy, thank you carlux.
      Is the foie gras ready to eat?

      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

        It depends -- you can buy it in glass jars or tins that is fully cooked and ready to eat.
        Or you can buy it fresh and raw from a volailler (poultry vendor).

        For the spectacle alone, make sure you have a chance to visit the Saturday market in Sarlat -- it's a beautiful town well worth a visit on its own, but the scope of the Saturday market is truly remarkable, and you'll have a fabulous choice of foie gras at that market, especially.

        (I was enormously disappointed in the fresh fruits and vegetables, but the magret, foie gras, wines, and cabecou were up to the standards I've come to expect.)

        1. re: sunshine842

          Thanks sunshine842--I don't even know what magret or cabecou are--but I am eager to investigate!

          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

            Magret is duck breast - you will find it in virtually all restaurants - to be eaten rare. As well as fresh, you will find it dried/smoked, etc., which would be good for a picnic.

            Cabecou is the Rocamdour goat's cheese.

            1. re: carlux

              Thanks for the clarification, carlux!

              1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                Let me add something to carlux's excellent points—if you see something you want to eat that's not cooked or is too big for your use, ask anyway. It's a general point that works all over France.

                On my last trip, I was in the marché St.-Antoine in Lyon and was waxing covetous of a particular sausage. The woman gave me the fisheye and said, "You can't tell how good it is by looking at it—take some!" "I can't. I'm here visiting and I haven't got a knife." "Pas de problème! I have one you can take."

                And so it was at most booths—you don't need a full 250g of half-salted butter? Here, the sample one is mostly gone—just take it, take it. You don't need a whole St.-Marcellin? I'll sell you half! Ah, you're admiring our poulets de Bresse—obviously you can't cook one in a hotel but down the market is a rôtissier who will sell you one of ours to go, already roasted, with pommes au lard (potatoes cooked on a flat top under a blanket of shredded bacon).

                You can buy half a loaf of baguette in any bakery, as well—sometimes with a little more insistence than others, but any bakery will sell a half loaf for something like 0,65€.

                Obviously, this sort of thing will go more smoothly if you speak French, but even if you didn't, admiration of a truly great artisanal product crosses language barriers and French people, particularly "dans la province" (i.e., not Paris), are anxious for visitors to eat well—and if they say no, you've lost nothing.

                Bon voyage et bon appétit—the Gascons eat some truly amazing food.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Thank you Da Ubergeek! My husband speaks French quite well. We will be much bolder in asking for what we need, now that I know it is acceptable. Thank you!

                  1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                    Das Ubergeek is absolutely right. You can even buy celery by the stalk. Just tear a stalk off the bunch.
                    An other tip is to make sure that you get served by a man (preferably an older man) and your husband gets served by a woman (preferably an older woman) This often results in free bits of produce. My wife regularly gets a free avocado at our favorite fruit & vegetable stand in Limogne.
                    For what its worth my market technique is to slowly go through the market from one end to the other, looking closely, but buying nothing. Then turn around and go back through the market doing your buying as you go. By then you will have noted what you want, who's got the best price/quality and many of the stall holders will have noted you & make sure they offer their best stuff. I learned this technique, naturally, from a frugal French housewife.

                    1. re: Yank

                      My frugal American DH has the same technique.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        so do I. (if for nothing else than it eliminates the buyer's remorse of buying something when you first arrive...only to find that it was bigger-better-cheaper somewhere else!)

    2. Albi's covered market which has recently been renovated is pretty spectacular. Every bit as good as Victor Hugo in Toulouse in my opinion which is saying a lot. Not to be missed, its close to the cathedral & the museum.

      A local dish you can buy at market is aligot. Its a potato & cheese dish. Heavy, but delicious. Ready cooked at the market.

      Also, most markets will have stands selling roast chicken (get the more expensive 'fermier' type.) and many selling paella. You buy your paella by 'parts' A part being a serving for one. French fast food!

      A cheese from the area in the more Northern part of your trip. (Brive for instance) is Gaperon. You don't see it much outside the area, but it should still be available in November, I hope. It has a wonderful flavor, distinctive, but not too strong.

      Regarding the little goat's cheeses (Rocamador's for instance) be sure to try different ages. The very young ones are very mild (great with bread & jam for breakfast) then the older they get the stronger they become until the very old ones get as hard as little rocks. The Shepherds used to break them into little pieces & suck on them as they walked the hills.

      Given your itinerary you'll pass close to St Cirq la Popie. I'd highly recommend a stop there. Wonderful views of the Lot & a ruined castle. its pretty much on your way as you drive from Conques to Cahors. Not far beyond are the Pech Merle caves with some great cave paintings. Try to make time for this area.

      Have fun.

      23 Replies
      1. re: Yank

        Yank--this is exactly the information I was looking for. Thanks soooooo much. I'll be thinking of you when I'm eating aligot.

        1. re: Yank

          Saint Cirq Lapopie is my fave vilage in France, where we are renting a house next week. We go back to the Pech Merle cave nearly every year. Those cave paintings make one proud of humanity.
          Food-wise; a restaurant with the improbably name "le café des touristes" in the beautiful riverside village of Marcillac sur Célé is a time-machine kind of village restaurant, run by the same family for 4 generations.

          1. re: Parigi

            This is for both Pargi &Henrietta.

            Here's an even more local tip. Leave St Cirq down the hill & cross the river. Turn LEFT. After about a kilometer you will see a bridge across the river Lot on your LEFT. Cross the bridge into the village of Bouzies.
            In Bouzies keep bearing LEFT, past the Cafe/restaurant, until you come to a large park with lots of parking. Park there & follow the road/track to the RIGHT as you face the river. Shortly you'll be walking under some high cliffs.
            After about 200-300 meters the path will be carved out of the rock under the cliffs with the river to your left. Carved into the cliff are several spectacular rock carvings. There's an information sign about them. They're not old, but are fascinating.
            Only in France would something like this go unposted & unadvertised.

            You can if you continue walk back to St Cirq, but I don't advise it the path up to St Cirq is a killer.

            Enjoy your vacation.

            1. re: Yank

              I know very well the stone carvings on the old haulters' trail by the river. The first time I saw them, they were indeed a total surprise. it was not mentioned anywhere, and at the time no one could tell me who made carvings.
              The haulers' trail actually goes all the way to St Cirq.
              And actually the house we are renting is in the village of Bouziés.

              1. re: Parigi

                Thank you, yes, one of the reasons we are going to the area is to see the cave art and I can hardly wait! I just didn't mention it because this is a food board :). Really there's nothing better in life than seeing spectacular art and architecture and then having a picnic nearby on equally spectacular regional foods. As a rabid sort of humanist, this is heaven for me!

                1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                  Picasso famously said of another kprehistoric cave: "after Altamira, all is decadence."
                  If you must see only one cave, let it be Font de Gaume. Only one English tour per day, at 11am. Only 200 persons admitted per day. Must reserve 1 month in advance. My second fave cave is Pech Merle. Padirac is more for entertainment, especially for children.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Parigi: I have a reservation for Font de Gaume, though the only opening was at 3 pm so it's not in English. My husband speaks French so hopefully he can translate for me.

                    1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                      Bravo.
                      Near Font de Gaume is the very good but very rustic ferme-auberge Taulado, serving aiguillette de canard and pommes salardaises and foie gras mi cuit. The omelette with cèpe mushroom is very tasty too, and cèpe is in season now.

                      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                        It's hard enough to stand and look and realize that it was painted almost 20,000 years ago...let alone try to process the commentary along with it.

                        Enjoy - it's a treasure. I've seen it twice now and both times I've thought how lucky I am to get to see this, and hoping that I'll get a chance to see it again before it's closed off to salvage it from the CO2 and resulting nasties.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          I've been considering replacing Rocamadour in our itinerary with Figeac. I'm concerned that Rocamadour may be a tourist trap. Anyone eaten something in great Figeac? Or will I be missing out on Romadour and it's goat cheese if we skip it?

                          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                            Rocamadour IS a tourist trap -- but then, it's been a tourist trap for centuries (former pilgramage destination) - it's part of what it is.

                            It's also stunningly beautiful and interesting to walk around and explore. There are some restaurants with terrasses suspended out over the valley that dish up an amazing Quercy salad (salad with smoked magret and confit of duck gizzards. Delicious)

                            1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                              I'm not a fan of Rocamadour, but that's just my personal bias.

                              Figeac is a great town especially on Saturday when the market is on. It should suit your desire to eat locally to a tee.
                              There are also a couple of neat museums in Figeac worth a visit.

                              1. re: Yank

                                Thank you sunshine842 and Yank. I still can't make up my mind! I'm tempted by the stunning views and the duck gizzards, but also by local eating and fine museums. Gah! Maybe I'll make my husband choose......

                                1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                  I agree that Rocamadour is a tourist trap, and best seen from above. Park in the Hospitalet, above town, look down on Rocamadour, and I personally wouldn't bother going very far into town.

                                  Figeac, however, is lovely. Try eating at La Cuisine du Marche, very good.
                                  http://www.lacuisinedumarchefigeac.com/

                                  The Champollion museum is interesting - you can stand on a facsimile of the Rosetta Stone, deciphered by Champollion. Also, the town is interesting - not as picture perfect as Sarlat, which got LOTS of reconstruction money. In Figeac they had to use what money they had/were given in constructive ways, renovating apartments for local people, rather than just for tourists.

                                  And you will get salads with gesiers (gizzards) everywhere, so dont worry about missing them.

                                  1. re: carlux

                                    Thank you carlux!

                                    1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                      I can echo Carlux's recommendation for La Cuisine du Marche. I can also add a story about it.

                                      A few years back my friend Rob & I went up to Figeac (about 45 minutes from where I live) to see that day's start of the Tour De France. As always it was great fun what with the caravan & the riders up close going through the town. The riders eventually disappeared up the hill & Rob & I went into a riverside bar for a beer. It was about lunch time, but the bar didn't serve any food, not even a sandwich. So we asked where they's recommend for lunch. Somewhere good, but not too expensive. They recommended La Cuisine ... & gave us directions.
                                      It was a short walk over the river & we were somewhat anxious about getting a table what with the TDF crowds in the town. Not a bit of it! There were NO other customers! This worried us, but we sat down anyway & perused the menu. It look good, interesting, but not at all expensive. We ordered.
                                      The meal was delightful. I can't remember what we had, but I do remember that it was good. Eventually another couple of diners came in so we didn't eat alone.

                                      Talking to Madame, the Proprietor, we found out that this wasn't unusual. The TDF spectators are notoriously cheap & won't pay for any meal above about 10€. She also said thed's been full for dinner the night before with racers, teams & sponsors.

                                      Go figure? This has been born out over the years as my friends & I have never had a problem getting a table in towns where The Tour De France starts their days race.

                                      Nice restaurant though. And a great Saturday market.

                                      Personally I'd go to Figeac & then over to St Cirq & the caves. Cahors ain't bad either, check out the bridge & their market plus (according to my wife) the cleanest public loos in all of France.

                              2. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                Figeac is an excellent choice. Beautiful town with great rich cultural heritage.
                                (But I was disappointed by the Musée Champollion which made some shocking mistakes in its exhibits in Chinese.)
                                In Figeac I had a very good meal at La Cuisine du Marché (is that the resto where you went, Yank?) 2 years ago. I hate to recommend any experience that old.
                                More recently - as of a week ago - I ate in restaurants in the area near Figeac but not in Figeac. There are several excellent fermes-auberges neaby: Ferme de l'Huile de Noix in Martel, and Ferme-Auberge de Larcher in Labastide Murat. There is no freshness like the ingredients - meat, vegetable, fruit, - in those farm-inns.
                                There is also a very authentic village restaurant in nearby beautiful Marcilhac sur Célé, with an improbable name: Café des Touristes. All of these eateries are very popular. Better to book in advance and avoid being turned away. In fact many of the fermes-auberges may be closed in the winter months. They are farms first and restaurants second.

                                "Or will I be missing out on Romadour and it's goat cheese if we skip it?"

                                It won't be goat cheese if you skip it. :-)
                                The cheese called Rocamadour is produced by all the farms nearby. The only thing that the village Rocamadour produces is cloned religious geegaw retailers. Skipping it is proof of good taste. I agree it is still beautiful, if you see it from the road several km away.

                                "Personally I'd go to Figeac & then over to St Cirq & the caves. Cahors ain't bad either, check out the bridge & their market plus (according to my wife) the cleanest public loos in all of France."

                                Agree, agree, agree.

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  Okay you've convinced me! I'll go to Figeac and eat at La Cuisine du Marche. We'll be there on a Saturday morning too so will not miss the market.

                                  Yes, we will be visiting Cahors (though not, sadly, on market day) and the caves. I am esp. thrilled about the clean loos.

                                  Thanks all!

                                  1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                    'good on ya' as my Aussie friends might say.

                                    You'll be happy to know that there's a covered market in Cahors that's open most days. They have some beautiful stuff.

                                    The loos in question are on the right side of the square in the center of town. There's a large fountain on the left side after you cross the bridge & go a few hundred yards. Then the loos are back from that by a couple of hundred feet.

                                    Just before that on the right side of the main street there's a made to order sandwich shop that's pretty good.

                                    Also, don't know which days you'll be travelling between Figeac & Cahors, but you can easily swing down to Limogne if it a Sunday for their market, not big but very authentic. You'll be too early for the truffle markets there & in Lalbenque. Too bad, but buying truffles at market is fairly tricky if you don't know the ropes.

                                    Have a great trip & report back.

                                    Parige & I will be anxious to hear how out advice worked out.

                                    1. re: Yank

                                      Sorriest I had not read well and missed that La Cuisine du Marché had been recommended by all before I mentioned it. Well, something we all agree on…
                                      Henrietta, on your way to Limogne, check out some of the Dolmens sites.
                                      Besides the Sunday Limogne market, the Thursday Villefranche de Rouergue market is overwhelming. One of my fave markets in France, way ahead of Isle sur la Sorgue and Vaison La Romaine.
                                      Yes please report back on one of my fave regions of France.
                                      (Photo credits go to my supernephew Joojoo.)

                                       
                                       
                                      1. re: Parigi

                                        I will certainly report back. People who help me find delicious food and clean bathrooms are my favorite people!

                                        1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                          Especially for addresses outside Figeac and Cahors, do call to ensure that they are open, since you are going in a very off-season period. Bon séjour.

                                          1. re: Parigi

                                            Merci, Parigi.

              2. I agree with all of Pargi's comments.

                In addition to Villefranche market I'll recommend my favorite Monday market in Caussade. I went there yesterday & it was as much fun as normal. The food part of the market winds through the back streets of the old town, famous for its hat making factories, and the more general non-food part is in the central square.
                I bought 32 kilos of tomatoes there earlier this summer at prices ranging from 20 to 30 cents a pound. I was making sun dried tomatoes to sell at a charity event. A favorite stall is run by two old boys who sell roasted chickens (get a 'fermier' chicken as they're better.) and wonderful sauteed potatoes. You buy these by the 'part' a part being a nice individual portion. An other great stall is the herb & spice lady, she seems to have every type you can think of plus many you can't. She also sells herbal tonic mixes which are very popular with the French. (She also sells at the Villefranche de Rouergue market and the Sunday market in St Antonin.)
                Near the Caussade market ( bottom end, across the road, near the salle des fetes & the live poultry & rabbit market) is a little restaurant with lots of outdoor tables as well as tables inside. Great simple food at reasonable prices. If cassoulete is on the menu that week you'll be in lunch as its as authentic as it gets. This is where the locals & stall holders eat their lunch.

                Come to think of it, you really don't have to travel much at all. Just base yourself centrally in our region and go to a market every day. That takes care of your mornings & there's a plenitude of villages, towns & sights to see in the afternoon.

                La France profond! (deepest France)

                10 Replies
                1. re: Yank

                  May I add another delicious local product to try: a sausage called Melsat. It is similar to a boudin whose ingredients include egg and bread. We first found it in one butcher in Villegranche de Rouergue, Boucherie Trinquier on 42 rue de la République. Last time I went, the butcher told me it did not make it any more. Yesterday at the Aveyron farmers' market in Paris, I asked every stand about it and could not find it. In fact onlyi found one butcher who knew (and liked) what it was.
                  If anyone knows where we deprived people could find it in Paris, please let me know.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Pargi

                    I'll look out for Melsat & ask around to see if I can find it.

                    Meanwhile here's a link to a recipe for it:

                    http://jako.over-blog.com/article-rec....

                    Doesn't look all that difficult assuming you can find some decent sausage meat.

                    Good luck

                    Yank

                    A little additional looking found a link to an on line shop where you can buy Melsat:

                    http://www.charcuterie-millas.fr/cgi-....

                    Looks like they'll ship to Paris Ok.

                    1. re: Yank

                      Merci, Yank de Rouergue. :-)

                    2. re: Parigi

                      Thanks! Is the Melsat ready to eat or must it be cooked?

                      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                        I was told one can do both, but we always sautéed it quickly in onion, sort of like hot dog. :-)
                        Talking about hot dog, may I recommend that you try to find a jar of confit d'onion from the markets down there. It goes marvelously with all sausages. It is the way hot dog relishes should be but never are.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          I will certainly try to find confit d'onion--might even be good just as a bread topping.

                          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                            No, it's one of those thing (IMO) that has to go *with* something -- by itself it's just onions floating in jelly...it really needs a partner.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Totally agree. Preferably with some highly seasoned meat, like sausages, to create an aigre-doux effect.
                              Confit is not confiture. Think of confit as a kind of French chutney. :-)

                              1. re: Parigi

                                In addition to eating the onion confit with Melsat please also try it with Merguez.

                                Merguez is a spicy local sausage. Sort of a French Choritzo if you will. It needs to be sauteed.

                                Another good partner to Melsat is Aligot. Don't know if Aligot is mentioned upthread, but its a local potato, garlic & cheese dish. Local say it can only be made properly with local fresh tome cheese.

                                While you're there, in the Aveyron that is, see if you can find a copy of a cookbook called "Goose Fat & Garlic" by Jeanne Strange. (You'll find it for sure in Najac or Amazon will sell you a copy) This book is as much a local history of how people lived in this area as it is a cook book. The recipes are wonderful. Try making L'Alliade de Toulouse to go with Magret. Wonderful!

                                1. re: Yank

                                  "Goose Fat & Garlic" sounds like a perfect Christmas present for my mother, who is a chef. (I'll give it to her with strings attatched--that she must cook the recipes for me)!

                  2. Perigueux market is held Wed/Sat and covers two squares, one being the huge parking next to the Cathedral. There is always a small market with a few stalls every day in the central square at the bottom of Rue des Chaines (behind the Halles). In November there may well be medlars, salsify, potiron (a much valued form of squash),and mushrooms, depending on the weather. In the Place St Louis there is a huge Marche aux Gras (foie gras market - and every other part of the duck and goose) on Wed/Saturdays - a spectacle in itself. Bring your camera as well as your shopping basket. A whole foie costs around 36/45 euros, depending on weight (vacuum-packed it lasts 3 weeks). You can also buy prepared foie, mi-cuit and bloc, which lasts much longer. There are also vendors in the food market behind the Halles who sell figs, prunes, peaches, apricots, etc stuffed with foie, at 3.90 euros each (enough for one serving). Both marches are excellent, and the standard and variety of the vegetables and fruit very high (not what was said above about Sarlat). It shows off the Perigord at its best, and is not a real haunt for tourists, certainly not in November! There is an Epicerie Fine on the Halles square who sells a range of vinegars - the vinaigre de Champagne is particularly delicate (and hard to find anywhere) as well as moutarde violette (with added red grape must - this is a product of Brive; get it here if you haven't time in its home town), and many other seductive products.
                    Rodez is a hardy, hilltop town who is renown locally for its sausages, both dry and to be cooked. They are more interesting than the ubiquitous Toulouse sausage. Mention has been made of the aligot - November is the time for it. As it is for Boudin Blanc - white sausages with a chicken and/or veal base, usually with added morilles, chestnuts or champagne. A winter delicacy, they are eaten around Christmas, often sauteed with apples. In Rodez you are near the AOC Marcillac wine region; just north of Rodez. Look out for their reds - grown on terraces of striking purple-red soil. They are gaining in reputation and popularity in France.

                    1. We've returned from our trip, exceptionally grateful for all the delicious advice receive on this thread. This was a very low budget trip and yet we ate like royalty! We carried what we called a picnic kit (cutlery, corkscrew, wine flask, plastic bowls) which allowed us to picnic at whim. The weather was kind to us so we ate mostly outside in front of gorgeous cathedrals, etc, or while in transit (we got around exclusively by train/bus). We tried to sample everything recommended and were about 80% successful. At the beginning of the trip we bought a bottle of local walnut oil and throughout our travels stopped in supermarkets for pre-washed bags of greens so that we could have salads and so that our diet would not consist exclusively of pates and cheese. :). Although going to supermarkets wasn't part of the goal, they were actually quite fun--while in the L'Eclerec supermarket in Rodez we were giggling at the aisle dedicated exclusively to canned duck and goose products. Otherwise we got our food from bakeries, cheese shops and such as well as the outdoor markets in Brive, Perigueux, Cahors and Toulouse.

                      We are well pleased with our decision to forgo Rocamadour in favor of Figeac. What a handsome town with wonderful food! We ate a memorable onion tart from a bakery there, with a flaky crust and a sweet tasting white cheese. Also hot from the oven flavorful sausages baked inside a baguette. The Brive market was quite a delight and we had some sauteed potatoes with lots of garlic and parsley that a vendor was cooking in a big wok. We ate this with confit d'onion as a relish (sorry to shock you if this is unorthodox but believe me it was tasty! ) We made it to Perigueux just in time for the foie gras market (didn't see any truffles) and had a fig stuffed with foie gras and a foie gras wrapped in bacon. We had several Rocamadour cheeses but the best were from the market in Toulouse--they had a creamy interior different from the others almost like a Époisses. In Cahors we bought a wonderful Trappe Echourgnac and in Perigueux a Gaperon cheese (looked like a meringue) which we brought on the train with us and ate while waiting to see the Fonte de gaume caves. In Cahors we finally found the Croustilot bread and enjoyed it's flavor and aggressive crust. And so so much more that I am leaving out. Oh, and Cafors AOC wine too.

                      We didn't manage to have aligot as we couldn't find any place that had it ready to eat. We saw it about shrinkwrapped in plastic tubs but when we asked someone if he could heat it for us he said it was impossible and made many stirring motions with his hands while telling us it could only be prepared on the stove. I tried to then find it it Figeac only to be told that of course I could only eat that in Aveyron. We also did not manage to get a fermier chicken or some of the sausages listed here as we were unsure as to their readiness to eat. Of course, now we will need to return again in the very near future to finish the job.

                      Thanks to all for your advice!

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                        Yeah! Figeac, Font de Gaume, Rocamadour cheeses. Just those 3 things, you could have gone home afterwards. :-)

                        1. re: Parigi

                          Yes indeed we could have, but happily we didn't. I see I neglected to write that we tried a smoked magret too. It was rare and tender and lovely!

                          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                            It is strange you did not find poulet fermier. Every, I mean every poultry vendor has it.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              Yes, they all had it but it seemed that it was either just at the start of the cooking process and not cooked yet or we were too late and the chicken was cold and dried out looking. Bad timing I guess......

                              1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                                You could have ordered one for a given time, which is what everybody does! Well, next time.

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  Ah, I didn't know that. Yes, next time for sure!

                        2. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                          Great report! I'm so glad that you enjoyed visiting this part of France.

                          Too bad about the chicken as its really good.

                          Good for you for buying the Gaperon. There's a myth/ story about how you tell if a Gaperon is ripe. You put the cheese on the ground on a board then stand over it with a knife. You drop the knife onto the cheese & if it stands up the cheese is ripe & ready to eat. I've never tried it, but I love the story & it come from an impeccable source.

                          Also too bad about the aligot. Normally there will be a stand with somebody stirring away. Your vendor was right in that it does take a lot of stirring.

                          Anyway, a great report. I'll look forward to your next visit when you can sample some of the smaller, but equally outstanding markets.

                          1. re: Yank

                            Thank you Yank. Yes, there will be a next time! This is actually our second trip to France this year as we spent 10 days in Burgundy in March. The low budget approach insures we can travel more, and eat more amazing foods.

                            1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                              Glad to hear it. I'll look forward to the next on line planning session & then your report.