The ingredients for fine food and wine are all to be found in Aquitaine. Bordeaux is a major producing area for both expensive and everyday wines and the coast delivers great seafood, including 90% of France’s mussels from the Bay of Arcachon.
Duck and goose appear in gourmet dishes, and goose fat is used a great deal. Truffles from the Dordogne and foie gras from the Landes add fine flavours.
Try ‘Entrecote Marchand de Vin’ (rib steak in a rich gravy from Bordeaux wine), Bayonne salt cured ham, and tender Pauillac lamb marinated in red wine and herbs. Golden free-range Landes chicken is maize fed and ‘Poulet Basque’ (chicken stew with tomatoes, onions, white wine and peppers) is popular in Pyrenees Atlantique.
The region is a major producer of apricots, plums, melons, apples and peaches, walnuts and wild mushrooms (cepes). Those with a sweet tooth should end their meal with a ‘canele’ or two - a small French pastry from the Bordeaux area, with a soft custard centre and caramelised crust.