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Culinary France

Léa's selection of the best local delicacies from Bordeaux

Ophorus Blog - Léa's selection of the best local delicacies from Bordeaux
While in France expect to taste delicious food & wines. When I travel, I always love to spend time in markets and taste food to understand the local culture. Following locals is the best way to discover new products and enjoy the French way of Life

Here in Bordeaux, we are so lucky, not only to have wines of all kinds but also different type of food we can pair it with! When I arrived here from my native region of Brittany, I was amazed by this diversity. This is how I fell in love with Bordeaux and its gastronomy.

If there are local delicacies that you should taste during your stay in Bordeaux, here is my top list and where you can eat them.

Starters

Oysters from Arcachon Bay:

Paired with local white wine from the Entre-Deux-Mers wine producing region, some lemon or shallots vinegar, there are so many great ways to appreciate oysters from Arcachon Bay. The tradition here remains to eat them with “crépinette” – a small little flat sausage that is served hot with the Oysters. You begin by eating the oyster, then take a bite of hot crépinette, followed by a bite in your buttered bread, then end the whole experience with 3 sips of white wine! It’s perfect as a starter either in the summer or winter time. Most of the locals will eat them after going to the market on Sundays or on the way back from a day at the sea. Want to taste oysters like the locals, then take our private Arcachon day trip from Bordeaux.

  • Where to taste Oysters & Crépinettes: Capucins & Chartrons Markets, Halles de Bacalan

Porcini Mushrooms the Bordeaux way or Cèpes à la Bordelaise:

Porcini Mushroom picking is a famous local hobby in the countryside surrounding Bordeaux after rainy days during summertime but mostly in autumn. The reward is quite a treat. There are various ways to taste them, in Bordeaux the specialty is to marry them with some parsley and garlic. Mimi Thorisson, who now lives in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, has written a great article about Cèpes including a number of recipes.

  • Where to taste Cèpes à la Bordelaise: La Tupina - 6 rue Porte de la Monnaie, Bordeaux

 

Lamprey à la bordelaise or Lamproie à la bordelaise:

The lamprey is a jawless fish that is found in the Garonne River. The adult resembles an eel as it is scaleless, with an elongated body and lack paired fins. Most of the time it’s cooked with its own blood and red wine. This unique mix gives a dark colored sauce that has a specific taste. We enjoy eating it with leeks and onions. Sometimes what’s good by the taste isn’t pretty to look at.

Main Dishes

Rib steak à la bordelaise or Entrecôte à la bordelaise

Most of us know rib eye steak but who really knows the boneless rib eye steak à la bordelaise? The tip is to cook the meat on vines shoots that have been pruned in the winter. Then, plate it up with a shallot sauce made with local Bordeaux red wine. Enjoy it with a glass or two of red wine from Bordeaux and you get a 100% local meal!

Rack of lamb from Pauillac or Carré d’agneau de Pauillac IGP

In the 13th Century, shepherds moved their flocks from the moors of the Gironde to winegrowing areas. Today, the Pauillac lamb is certified “Label Rouge”, the highest certification for food quality in France. It’s a seasonal meat that is found between December and May. With its white to pale pink meat and unique taste, this lamb is a delight for the most demanding guests. A typical meal will include seasonal vegetables paired with a local red wine from Pauillac. Do you want to taste this local specialty? Follow us on a special private tour for 2 persons to the Médoc wine region of Bordeaux and stop for lunch in Pauillac.

  • Where to taste Pauillac Lamb : Café Lavinal, Place Desquet – Bages - 33250 Pauillac

Pauillac Lamb

Duck breast or Magret de canard

Duck breast can be found almost anywhere in the South West region of France. Typically, magret comes from the breast of a duck or goose that has been fattened to make confit and foie gras. It can be grilled, dried, or smoked. In general, it is served grilled and cooked ‘pink’, which means that it is not totally cooked at the heart. If you like meats to be cooked medium or well done, better inform the waiter right away as no questions will be asked. Sides always include French fries and in the traditional restaurants these have been fried with duck fat giving them a unique taste.

‣     Where to taste Magret de Canard : Les drôles -  21 Rue St rémi, Bordeaux

Dessert

Canelés

Canelés is a delicious pastry which has a hard-caramelized crust and is soft inside. This is the perfect ‘en-cas’ to taste before a tour in the Bordeaux vineyards! The traditional recipe comes from the Nuns of the Annonciades, in the 16th Century. At that time, winemakers used egg white to filter and clear the wines. To not waste the yolk, it was given to the nuns who came up with the canelé cake as a solution. For many years, the cakes were given to the needy or sold for the profit of the congregation. The other ingredients such as vanilla and Rhum were found on the docks of Bordeaux’s harbor.

  • Where to taste Canelés : La Toque Cuivrée - 5 rue Sainte-Catherine, Bordeaux

Les Dunes Blanches

The recipe of the Dunes Blanches was Invented by the master baker Paul Lucas’s son who used to fill leftover ‘chouquettes’ (small chou buns) with a slightly whipped cream of which only his father had the recipe. The father then decided to offer the pastry to his clients and in 2 minutes all the 60 chouquettes had been sold. The name, Dunes Blanches, was found by one of the employees and is a reference to a sand dune located nearby, Grand Piquey.

Macarons of St Emilion

St Emilion is not only famous for its wines; it is also famous for its macarons. Invented by the nuns of the Ursulines order (also known as the Order of Saint Ursula) these small round and flat cakes first appeared in Italy before arriving in France during the Renaissance period. Thanks to a certain Mademoiselle Boutin, the macarons enjoyed a revival around 1830. Apparently, due to her poor economic condition, she would give away the recipe in exchange for food, clothes and accommodation for a certain time. This explains why a number of persons, still today, promote the fact that they have the original recipe. On a day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, your tour guide will show you where you can taste and buy these local delicacies.  

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