Much of Correze’s cuisine is the simple country fare found throughout the region; hearty soups, fresh fish from the region’s many lakes and rivers and good, finely marbled beef from red-brown Limousin cattle (said to be low in fat and cholesterol).
Salt pork, along with vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes, is used in a tasty stew known as ‘potee limousin’.
In autumn, forests abound with wild mushrooms - ceps, girolles and trompette-des morts - and blackberries picked from the hedgerows. Look on menus for ‘cepes farcis’ - stuffed mushrooms.
Chestnuts and walnuts are important and are made into nut liqueurs. It is said the region’s sweet dessert wine, known as ‘straw’ wine, was sent from Correze to Paris as a gift to the king in 622AD. Drink cider made with Limousin apples or try local wines from vineyards around Brive-la-Gallarde.
You’ll no doubt be offered the region’s most famous dessert of ‘clafoutis’ - a sort of sweet toad in the hole - with cherries baked in batter or ‘flognarde’, which is similar, but uses other local fruits.
An average French person eats 2.4 kilos of strawberries a year and almost 40% of France’s national strawberry production is grown in the area surrounding Beaulieu, which has its own micro climate sheltered from the wind. Visitors in the strawberry season should try one of the many strawberry desserts and if you are holidaying in May, join the thousands who gather in Beaulieu on the second Sunday in May each year to celebrate its annual Fete de la Fraise (strawberry festival). About 5 tonnes of the delicious fruit will be sold and used during each festival.