‘In France the conversation always comes round to food’ – which is no surprise when the food is of such high quality and presentation as we saw this week.
The payback is that I found the red meatiness, full flavours and multiple courses too rich for my English constitution and, at night in my bed, I frequently couldn’t sleep for the long slow digestion process. Meanwhile the winding mountain roads twisted the knife of queaziness.
But there is no doubting that French food is a gourmet treat (at the time) and so I recorded some of the meals on our ‘Cantal in winter’ trip.
1. Grilled duck and aligot – Finnish style t Camping des Blats (see the video).
2. Soup of local blonde lentils with foie gras at Auberge d’Aijean.
3. Pounti – a local soft, sweet and salty speciality of chard and prunes, also at Auberge d’Aijean.
4. Cantal cheese! You can’t come to Cantal without experiencing fantastic giant cheeseboards of Cantal (ripe and young), Salers, St Nectaire, Gaperon, Fourme, Tomme, Auvergne Blue and many more.
5. Cream of caulifower soup with blue cheese and balsamic decoration, at Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge.
6. Pig’s trotters on a bed of blonde lentils, at Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge.
7. Lamb, thyme, risotto, pear, puréed spinach, at Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge.
8. Quince with walnut and honey – caramelised, at Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge.
9. Pachade at Meije-Coste mountain refuge
10. A trio of patisseries for dessert at Auberge des Montagne
Thankyou France for your delicacies but now that I’m back, with some extra weight on my pot, I’m yearning for salad leaves, fruit and some plain toast.