Saffron, Lamb, Melons... a savour for every season
From one end to the other of the département, the Lot has made its specialities into its greatest ambassadors.
This is a land which is generous, where people enjoy good food and which provides a unique opportunity to :
Taste and try Saffron
More expensive than caviar, this is comes from a blue flower brought to this area by returning Crusaders. In the Lot, its chosen home since the 11th C., it's known as "red gold". Indeed, it's pretty nearly as expensive : around 30,000€ per kilo ! But no need to use that much : 0.1g is quite enough to flavour a dish for 4 people.
Production of the Crocus sativus is a delicate matter, particularly when it comes to harvesting the stigmata, three per bulb, in October-November.
The people of the Lot, who have plenty of imagination, have competed with each other to marry this spice to local produce. Used a great deal by local chefs, you can also find sheep's cheese with Quercy saffron, saffron sorbets and ice-creams, sweets, syrups, aperitifs…
Feast on Quercy farm lamb
On the causse, you find short, dry grass, dry stone walls and ewes with black circles around their eyes : they look like they're wearing sunglasses ! Of the Caussenarde breed, these good mothers care tenderly for their lambs in the cool shade of the sheep-barn, as soon as they return from grazing on the causse. Fed largely on this milk flavoured with the wild herbs of the Causse for 70 days, the lambs turn out as real champions…
Result ? Very high quality meat which is protected by a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication).
Fall for the Quercy melon
Cultivated for almost a century in the Castelnau Montratier area of Quercy, the melon is one of this département's flagship products. Its eating qualities, its orange-coloured flesh, melt-in-the-mouth texture and delicate honeyed flavour won it PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication) in 2004. Those who enjoy melon appreciate it as it is, or roasted, in soup or as jam.
Try some tasty walnuts treats
Franquette, Marbot, Corne and Grandjean are the stars of the AOC "Noix du Périgord" (Perigord Walnut) appellation, awarded in 2002. They provide fresh/dried kernels, oil, wine, liqueurs, succulent cakes, biscuits and sweets. Walnut groves line the banks of the Dordogne river. Naturally, the local speciality, walnut cake, is much appreciated around here. Moist, well-flavoured, this cake is made of nothing but sugar, butter, eggs and flour… and walnuts, of course.
Discover the secrets of the famous Pastis
Any stay in the Lot should include a taste of "Pastis", a kind of pastry with a filling of apples soaked in rum. Mmm… Such fine, delicate pastry - it reminds you of….? Yes, "pastilla" (a Moroccan speciality) : it was indeed the Moors who left behind this recipe in the South-West.
Enjoy a refreshing Ratz beer
For this engineer and former rugby player, it became obvious that he just had to brew an artisanal beer. He set up his brewery in Fontanes, near Cahors, and brews pure malt beer with an infusion of aromatic hops. His non-pasteurised beers each have their own distinctive personality ; flavoured beers, organic, amber, lager, white or stout.