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Gourmet Getaways

A perfect blend of local produce and local wines, gastronomy in Gironde equals authenticity of flavours : Arcachon Bay oysters with a glass of dry white wine from Entre-deux-Mers, a rib eye steak of beef from Bazas or grilled shad on vine shoots, ‘ Bordeaux-style‘ lamprey …not forgetting the estuary prawns flavoured with anise, fried baby eels, known as pibales, and Gironde caviar !


From April to December you can meet local farmers and try out their products in the « Markets on the Farm » If you fancy a bite to eat, the Cafés de Pays offer an « assiette de pays » a one-course dish of local produce. 


There are many local produce festivals in Gironde, including the Fattened Cattle procession in Bazas, the lamprey festival in Sainte-Terre, the lamb festival in Pauillac…


The highlights of Gironde cuisine 

Shad : a big grey-blueish fish that migrates up the estuary between May and July to spawn in the Garonne or the Dordogne. It is eaten grilled or accompanied with a gribiche sauce, a vinaigrette with boiled eggs, capers, gherkins and herbs, or a gooseberry sauce.


Pauillac lamb is reared exclusively on mother’s milk and is typically found amongst the vines of the Bordeaux region. In bygone days during the period of the transhumance, shepherds made deals with vineyard owners : after the harvest, the sheep were allowed to graze amongst the vines, where they acted as natural weedkillers.


Bazas beef has a Red Label quality mark, this very tender marbled meat lends itself perfectly to the dish ‘entrecôte bordelaise’, Bordeaux-style rib eye steak.


The ‘Cannelé ‘ from Bordeaux is a soft chewy cake invented in 1519 by nuns at the Convent of the Annunciation in Bordeaux. Its name refers to the small copper mould into which the cake is poured.


Entrecôte à la bordelaise : The Bordeaux-style rib eye steak was originally a speciality of the winegrowers who grilled it on the embers of old wooden casks. These days it is cooked on vine shoots, with a red wine and shallot sauce.


Arcachon Bay oysters : By the time the Romans settled in Aquitaine, the oyster had already colonised Arcachon Bay !


Bordeaux-style lamprey : THE classic dish of the Gironde is stewed in its own blood – before adding a red wine (traditionally, Saint-Emilion) and leek sauce.


Saint-Emilion Macaroon is a melt-in-the-mouth biscuit made with almonds, sugar and egg white.


Pibales (baby eels) are usually cooked Spanish style in an earthenware dish with olive oil.


Sarments from Médoc are chocolates shaped like vine shoots that come in a variety of flavours -orange, mint, coffee or cinnamon ….

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