Bordeaux a gourmet city  

A short message from Bordeaux, where I am savouring specialities each more delicious than the last. As a prelude to any meal, a glass of Lillet makes a marvellous aperitif.


For a first course, perhaps I can tempt you with oysters from Arcachon Bay. In Bordeaux, we enjoy these on the half shell with spicy cold sausage such as grenier médocain or gratton de Lormont. However, you may wish to start your meal with a healthy soup like a tourin, made with garlic and egg whites, and sometimes called tourin à l’ivrogne, or drunkard's tourin.

Another speciality, but a very rare one, is pibales, or elver, that originate some 6,000 km away, in the Saragossa Sea. These are a delight sautéed in oil with garlic and parsley.  Like caviar d’Aquitaine, they are a delicious, but expensive luxury. Lamprey is another treat from the river when prepared à la bordelaise with leeks, red wine, and infinite care.  It is also excellent from a tin. 

You have only to take a walk in forests near to Bordeaux to understand the difference.  The humus does not smell quite the same as anywhere else since fragrant ceps hide under the leaves. Once again, cooking with chopped garlic and parsley in olive oil works wonders!   Ceps are ideal with entrecôte bordelaise, made from quality beef and grilled over a wood fire.  

While in the forest, you have only to look upward to see palombes, or wood pigeons. These migratory birds can be cooked with the local wine to make a salmis de palombes that is sure to please. The country around Bordeaux also provides excellent poultry for confit, foie gras, and pâtés. Food is tasty and hearty here… and is, of course, a treat washed down with the region's great wines!

To finish off a good meal on a sweet note, you will appreciate golden cannelés, either soft or crunchy, with coffee or tea, as well as bouchons or macaroons.  Eating such food is simply a joy. Bon appétit!