The Dordogne is predominantly rural and agricultural, which means that the local cuisine is based on local produce, eaten in season. Forget the waxy tastelessness of the supermarket vegetables you knew in the UK. Discover Saint Pierre tomatoes in the summer markets – distorted growths but fleshy and so tasty that your tastebuds will be in shock. Your salads, with lettuces that have tastes you’ve forgotten,will never be the same. There are the cheeses, too – the small, fresh goat’s cheese and the waxier Echourgnac. And then of course the endless permutations of duck – from magret, through confit to gésiers and the crowning glory of foie gras.

The region is blessed, too, with some excellent wines from the Bergerac region. Although people may be familiar with the Bergerac appellation, they are probably less aware of the fact that “Côtes de Bergerac” denotes a superior quality. Then there are the lesser-known appellations of Pécharmant, Montravel and Monbazillac, which are all well worth exploring.

For those of us living here, the challenge is, frankly, not to overeat! The traditional local cuisine is designed for agricultural workers toiling in the fields, not for metropolitan escapees. A Périgord celebration, starting with soup, followed by duck or goose foie gras studded with truffles, and then more duck with potatoes fried in goose fat, local cheeses and a succulent fruit tart, is like something from a previous age. Tenderer stomachs have to take it a little easy. But it’s difficult not to have a second helping when everything’s so fresh…

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