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 Nouvelle Aquitaine is such a 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.
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