Wednesday is an earlier start than other days, but that’s only to make the most of the weekly trip to the local Market. The location of Cook In France at Bombel, not only gives it a gorgeous setting in the heart of the Dordogne region, but an envious location just 15 minutes drive from Sarlat.
Sarlat is the hub of Perigord cusine, an area whose 2 main stars are Foie Gras and Truffles, with other delights like goose, ceps, walnuts and chestnuts. To be truthful the town is heaven for a foodie like me, with over 70 restaurants and a fabulous market each Wednesday and Saturday. So without further delay, we set off around the market, which lines the streets from one end of town to the other, and Jim had lined up a few of the stallholders for us to meet along the way.
The first stall we stopped at was a Duck stall. As mentioned earlier, this part of France is famed for it’s duck and the bird holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of the people from this area. As it should be, the whole duck is put to use, the liver is treasured as Foie Gras, the wings and legs make great Duck Confit, where they are preserved by being salted and then poached in it’s own fat, the fat is also used to fry potatoes in a local dish known as Pomme Salardaise (an even naughtier version of Pomme Dauphinoise!!) and not a single part goes to waste.
Next stop was the best Foie Gras stall on the market (one who is definitely used to a weekly visit from Cook in France sous-chefs!) and is very helpful explaining the different types of Foie Gras products.
We bought a gourmet selection as in my current state I can’t eat much liver, but will definitely have this to look forward to once the baby arrives.
Lastly, it was time for Jim to introduce us to the Syrup (so called because of his hair accessories!) and what a character he is. Not a word of English but he keeps you engaged trying his caramelised walnuts, chocolate coated walnuts, walnut liqueur and a truffle liqueur among other things.
Then it was time to go off for a wander round the town on our own. There is plenty to explore with meandering medieval streets full of interesting shops. The only thing that spoiled it was when the heavens opened and me and hubby ended up looking like drowned rats!! We did pick up some more goodies though as bought three different types of the salami’s – Sanglier (a local Wild Boar speciality), Smoked and Pepper Crusted.
Then it was time to head back to the kitchen to prepare a simple but gorgeous lunch, Baked Camembert with Rustic Croutons. The Camembert cheeses were infused with orange zest and Rosemary and then baked in their cases. The croutons were large chunks of crusty white bread torn up and then sprinkled with orange peel, black olives, garlic cloves, thyme, olive oil and a cured ham like prosciutto.
The Baked Camembert souffléd up and the sweet raspberry compote on the side was a good accompaniment to cut through the gooey melted cheese. Definitely a dish to be recreated at home (in fact we already have as part of our tapas feast last weekend!)
It certainly set us up for the afternoon’s fun-filled activities – so come back soon to see what we got up to.