Duck, geese and of course foie-gras are all traditional specialties of southwest France, and Cahors is no exception. Not a fan of the super-rich and highly contraversial foie gras? Then try instead a more simple (and less decadent) duck confit or perhaps a pan seared duck breast in a Cahors red wine reduction.
Another important food product to be found here are walnuts, and more specifically those sold under the A.O.C. Noix du Perigord. Originally introduced to the region by the Romans, walnuts take on numerous culinary, alcoholic and healthful uses. They can be found adorning a cheese plate, in salads, as an integral component to cakes and pastries, pressed to give a clear light oil or used in the creation of the local “vin de noix” a local liqueur.
During the summer months, markets throughout the region will often feature the delicious and fleshy “Melons du Quercy”. These are grown on sunny and well-exposed chalky hillsides in the Quercy Blanc region. The bright orange and sweet fruit center is perhaps best enjoyed on its own at the height of the season.
Yes saffron! In the last 10-12 years or so the crocus sativus has enjoyed something of a renaissance, as local farmers (particularly in the Lot and Cele valleys) have re-introduced this crop. Harvest time comes around October, when the delicate and pale mauve flowers litter the landscape. All harvesting of these fragile flowers must be done by hand and on a daily basis. It takes approximately 200-250 flowers to yield 1 gram of the finished spice. Expensive, but oh so worth it!
Perhaps the quintessential dish to pair with the deep wines of Cahors is none other than Quercy Farm lamb. Raised on the limestone plateaus of the region, the ewes nibble on the sparse grass and fresh herbs that grow alongside. Locals admit that these grasses and herbs are transferred directly to the meat, which contributes to its unique and delicious flavor.