For a region dominated by a largely rural community, there is a sophistication reminiscent of city cuisine in the gastronomy of the Dordogne. From relaxed countryside cafeterias to busy restaurants, there is a focus on flavour and the creation of dishes that are distinct from other French food. With the Bergerac red and white wines providing the perfect accompaniment to any meal, dining in the Dordogne is certain to sate the appetite of any traveller.
Duck, duck, goose
Cuisine in the Dordogne famously focuses on recipes incorporating duck and goose, with the specialties prepared here stretching back to the height of the Périgord province. As such, selecting one of the dishes prepared from these birds offers a culinary experience that has survived through generations. From magret and confit de canard in a variety of sauces, to confit d’oie, these recipes are slow cooked and fried in the fat for a delicious, full taste.
With extensive oak woodlands covering the region, the Dordogne lays claim to one of France’s most prestigious delicacies. Black Périgord truffles grow abundantly in the area, and the international regard afforded to these expensive fungi mean that any meal that includes them is packed with unique flavour. Though used sparingly in any dish, the Black Périgord truffles can most commonly be found in soups, pates, and as the stuffing in meats.
One dish often accompanied by truffles is the notorious foie gras, a dish that has its origins in ancient Egypt, but for which France has become the leading producer. Requiring the overfeeding of ducks and geese, foie gras is a delicacy that is readily available in the Dordogne, and is served in a number of ways. Among the most popular is pâté de foie gras, which acts as a sumptuous starter or accompaniment to a meal.
Rounding off the dining experience in style is a French tradition. One of the most enjoyable ways to do so in the Dordogne is with a Monbazillac or Saussignac dessert wine, both products of Bergerac. The former has notes of honey and apricot when young, while the latter’s pear and passion fruit flavours make it a delightful conclusion to a meal.