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Nouvelle Aquitaine

Place de la Bourse with the Hotel and Palais de la Bourse in Bordeaux. In front the Miroir d'eau can be seen.

Nouvelle Aquitaine is the biggest region in France, containing a dozen départments (Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, and Haute-Vienne). It is more or less the boundaries of the former Duchy of Aquitaine once ruled by the great Eleanor, Richard the Lionheart and the Plantagenets in the Middle Ages.

Because the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the département of the Basque Country and Béarn, is so different I gave it its own category. But it’s such vast region it really is something of a culinary patchwork quilt. Some of its specialities are among the most luxurious in France: oysters from Marennes Oléron and Arcachon, and truffles, caviar, and foie gras and every other ducky thing from the Dordogne.

Besides wine, Bordeaux is the home of the entrecôte à la bordelaise (steak with a butter, shallots and red wine sauce, ideally made from beef from Bazas), lamproie for the brave, and sweet little canelés and other sugary delights. It’s also one of the best places to find wild mushrooms.

The Dordogne is filled with walnut groves, while the Lot-et-Garonne produces the renowned pruneaux d’Agen. But above all this the region of wines, of the world’s biggest wine region, Bordeaux, covering 1200km and including such famous names as Médoc, Saint-Émilion and Sautèrnes, plus other fine wines just east from Bergerac and Monbazillac, and Cognac from the Charent.

aillet

baby garlic

alose

shad

angélique

angelica

Anisette

anise flavour liqueur

Aréna

almond cake from Saint-Junien

Baume de Bouteville

French balsamic vinegar

Bouchons de Bordeaux

almond paste corks

Bougon

The ‘Camembert of goat cheese’

broyé du Poitou

shortbread galette from the Poitou

burgou

chestnut cake from Limoges

caillebotte

curds

canelé

little fluted pastry from Bordeaux

caviar

caviar

Chabichou du Poitou

ancient cone-shaped goat cheese

Cognac

double distilled brandy from the Charente

cornue

Easter brioche from the Limousin

couilles de mouton

ram’s testicles

cruchade

polenta, Gascon style

cèpes à la bordelaise

mushrooms with shallots and parsley

céteau

wedge sole

dacquoise

half way between a macaron and a meringue

Dunes Blanches

Cap Ferret’s chouquettes

enchaud

preserved pork

esturgeon

sturgeon

Farci Poitevin

vegan ‘charcuterie’

Fénelon

A southwestern aperitif

Fine de Bordeaux

Bordeaux’s brandy

Floc de Gascogne

The ‘Flower of Gascony’

galetous

Limousin buckwheat pancakes

gâteau creusois

buttery hazelnut cake

grenier médocain

rolled up pig belly

grillon

pork pâté from the Charente and Limousin

guinettes

boozy cherries

jambon de Tonneins

a dish for travellers

jonchée

mild curdled cheese

lamproie

lamprey

Marguerite d’Angoulême

daisy-shaped chocolates

millasson

a thick cake

mique

big bread dumpling

moutarde violette de Brive

spicy grape must mustard

Noisettines du Médoc

hazelnut candies

noix

nut or walnut

oreillettes

Carnival fritters

panturon

slow-cooked mutton liver and heart

papitou

fois gras in pâté

petits ventres

little lamb stomachs

Pigne du Blayais

anis-flavoured buns with four pointy bits

pine de Barbezieux

penis shaped pastries

Pineau des Charentes

grape juice fortified with Cognac

pralines

toasted almonds or hazelnuts in sugar

pruneaux

prune

salade périgourdine

duck gizzard salad

sanguette

a blood pancake

sarments de Médoc

chocolate vine cuttings

sauce bordelaise

rich wine sauce

sauce Périgueux

truffle sauce

soupe aux cerises

cherry soup

tortillon

bicuit ring

tourin

ducky garlic soup

tourteau fromagé

goat cheese pastry from Poitou

Trappe d’Ecourgnac

nut-flavoured cheese made by nuns

trépaïs

the new Limousin pastry

tricandille

Bordelais pork tripe

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Xellery