The village of Bournazel celebrates its traditional fête in the week leading up to the second Sunday in August. Everything culminates in a 600 person meal on the Sunday night followed by fireworks and a disco.
It all starts with the flags
Put up with the usual respect for health and safety!
On Wednesday a night walk attracts 100 plus and on Thursday night a “night market “. An opportunity to eat really local. Producers of “aligot”, organic vegetables, pork and veal, and ice cream, provide an opportunity to taste their products whilst sitting under the plane trees.
Friday is Paella at the local restaurant and Saturday “apéro concert”.
Monday is VERY quiet!
As I have often in the past been quite rude about the local food, perhaps the time is right to redress the balance a little, after all credit is due to an area where people have always managed to make much out of very little (sometimes in more ways than one!)
I have already mentioned aligot, “the king of foods” as my brother has called it, a rib clinging mashed potato dish certainly designed to keep you going through a cold winters day. But the great advantage in Aveyron is the care and “heart” obvious in so much of the produce.
There are many small scale producers, the landscape, tradition and the shallow soil, has meant that large scale production has always been difficult and the lack of an efficient transport network led to a certain amount of insulation from the rest of France. This means that now there are lots of small producers still sticking to traditional methods and producing some great quality products.
There is a proliferation of “bio” (organic) suppliers and small farms producing local duck, goose and pork to make the traditional local dishes, all found at the “Marchés des Producters de Pays”
Some enterprises have also got together to form “Drive-Fermier”, where a variety of foods (pork, duck, ice cream, cheese…..) can be ordered on line direct from the producer and then picked up from a central point.
Specialities include Goose and duck confit, foie gras, Estofinado, made with salted and dried cod “stockfish” Cheeses such as Bleu des Causses Laguiole, Roquefort cheese or Cabecou (goat’s milk cheese) local wines, local honey,
Cakes include Fouance, a bit like Madeira cake, gateau à la broche, a batter based cake cooked on a spit in front of the fire.
As well as an abundance of walnuts, chestnuts and mushrooms.
With the tempertures still well below 0, in Aveyron, it makes you think about the people who lived here when central heating wasn’t an option. What they used was the “Ready Break” system. eating to keep warm. The traditional recipes certainly aren’t for the faint hearted! Aligot is one of those recipes, not every day food if you’re not required to tend the livestock in below freezing temperatures,but great comfort food, the food of the gods one of my brothers called it at my birthday celebrations!
1 kg of floury potatoes -500 g fresh tome-200 gr thick crème fraîche – 3 cloves garlic -30 gr lard or duckfat or butter, salt and pepper
Peel the potatoes and garlic cloves. Cut the potatoes into chunks and cook with garlic 20 minutes in boiling water.
Meanwhile, cut the fresh tome into small pieces.
When the potatoes are cooked, mash them adding a little cooking water to increase starch.
Over a low heat, stir in the cream, with a wooden spoon, then quickly add the cheese, stirring vigorously, now add the duckfat and seasoning (some people add a little nutmeg), now you need to keep stirring and lifting until the Aligot comes away from the side of the pan and forms long ribbons.
1 kg of Bintje potatoes – 400 g fresh tome-200 gr thick crème fraîche – 1 or 2 cloves garlic – salt and pepper Peel the potatoes and garlic cloves. Cut the potatoes into chunks and cook with garlic 20 minutes in boiling water.
Meanwhile, cut the fresh tome thinly.
At the end of cooking remove the garlic, place the potatoes in ricer possibly adding a little cooking water for desired consistency.
Stir in the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon, then quickly Volume 400 grams of fresh, stirring vigorously to aerate the aligot that must spin at the end of the spatula to form a ribbon. We can, if desired, flavor still a whole clove of garlic crushed.