Food in Aveyron

logo MPPAs 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,

En haut, Cyril Lignac à Villefranche l'an passé. À gauche : le fameux gâteau fabriqué au feu de bois.  Ci-dessus, la hauteur des pics fait la différence. /photos DDM, archivesCakes 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.

http://tourismemidipy.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/gaillac-vin-sur-vin-pour-laccueil/

http://www.drive-fermier.fr/centre-aveyron

http://www.marches-producteurs.com/aveyron

http://www.vin-vigne.com/region/vin-aveyron.html

http://www.tourisme-aveyron.com/en/discover/gastronomy.php

Bio

Just as in the UK, provenance and organic are buzz words that have made the move from the sidelines to the big pitch and there’s plenty of “bio” options in Aveyron, where the fact that it was until recently the “lost” department has meant that the small scale production and lack of money for expensive “imports” has meant that many never really strayed far from their culinary roots.


The majority of people in our village have a potager, in fact when they talk about a garden that’s what they mean, and they definitely talk about it! “What are you growing?” “how are your tomatoes doing?” “Are the chickens laying?”


There is also a tradition of the smallholder, the small scale producer and the exchange of surplus produce, so it is only natural that there has been a proliferation of niche producers and now these are getting together in various small co-operatives.


The nearest to us is called the Drive Fermier, and includes producers of pork, foie gras, organic vegetables, milk and the most fabulous, if expensive, ice cream.

http://aveyronbournazel.blogspot.fr/

http://www.drive-fermier.fr/centre-aveyron/

Organic veg and local honey at Cransac market