The essentials of Nouvelle-Aquitaine gourmet cuisine

As well as being France’s leading agricultural region in terms of the quality of its produce, Nouvelle-Aquitaine has everything it takes to offer a high-quality gourmet experience: artisan producers with generations of experience, and local produce that is well known, highly appreciated and even accreditation labelled.
The essentials of Nouvelle-Aquitaine gourmet cuisine

Here’s a menu listing my key essentials of local gourmet foods: Welcome to south-western fine dining!

Main course: top quality meat

All these products are highly rated for their remarkable quality. Their production processes are recognised and accredited by labelling and certification schemes: Label Rouge, Blason Prestige and Indication Géographique Protégée.

● Limousin beef and veal
● Parthenaise beef
● Chalosse beef
● Blonde d’Aquitaine beef
● Le Diamandin Baronet lamb
● Poitou-Charentes lamb
● Pauillac lamb
● Limousin Culs Noirs pork
● Bigorre black pork
● South-western free-range pork
● Gascogne free-range chicken
● Landes chicken
● South-western foie-gras fattened duck

The Limousine is the most exported breed of cattle in the world (more than 70 countries), and the first in France to receive Label Rouge accreditation. Limousin Label Rouge beef is instantly recognisable for its attractive red colour. It is a premium, low-fat beef famous for its flavour. Its exceptional grain is what gives it its tenderness, unique marbling, creamy texture and succulence.

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Famous for its foie gras, truffles, Bergerac wines, strawberries, walnuts and porcini mushrooms, the Dordogne is also the home of black gold, with 3 aquaculture farms dedicated to breeding sturgeon and producing caviar.

The essentials of Nouvelle-Aquitaine gourmet cuisine

Starters: Unique seafood

● Oléron Marennes oysters
● Bouchot mussels

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With more than 20,000 tonnes of oysters produced every year, Marennes Oléron is one of the largest oyster farming areas in Europe. These oysters owe their flavour to the small pools known as claires in which their flesh matures and takes up the distinctive taste of the terroir and the characteristic green colour produced by the blue-green pigment of the Haslea ostrearia diatoms that live in the water. This process of maturing the oysters in claires is unique in the world, and exclusive to Marennes Oléron.

As the ultimate accolade of superior quality, the Marennes Oléron Oyster is the only one in France to carry the Label Rouge mark, which was awarded in 1989 for the green Fine de claire, and in 1998 for the Pousse en claire.

The essentials of Nouvelle-Aquitaine gourmet cuisine

The fruit basket

● Agen prunes
● Limousin apples (AOP)
● Haut Poitou melons
● Lot et Garonne strawberries
● Marmande tomatoes
● Périgord walnuts
● Adour kiwi fruit

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Agen prunes are an essential part of Lot et Garonne heritage and culture. The natural result of drying perfectly ripe Ente plums, a fruit emblematic of south-western France. The Grand Pruneau Show held in Agen at the end of August is definitely not to be missed. The show includes a fine food market, live music and cookery demonstrations.

Limousin AOP apples are the only apples in France to be awarded Protected Designation of Origin status (the European equivalent of France’s AOC label). This apple keeps so well, that you can buy it throughout the year, from October to July. Equally good cooked, it can also be used for pastries, such as doughnuts, turnovers, charlottes and tarts, as well as compotes and jellies.

The essentials of Nouvelle-Aquitaine gourmet cuisine

And to complement the meal...

● Charentes-Poitou butter (AOC)
● Échiré butter
● Espelette pepper
● Saliès de Béarn salt
● South-western foie gras
● Bayonne ham

Discover all the produce of the region, together with recipe ideas, expert comment and all the latest news on the website of AANA, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Food Agency.

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