Jul 062012

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by PhillipC

French people are proud of their food and in particular food from their region. It’s a pride that isn’t something we’re as familiar with in the English-speaking world. But even throughout France, where regional is king, there’s a shared belief that food from the Midi Pyrenees is some of the best throughout the country.

Having lived there for six months, and other parts of France on and off for another half a year, I can definitely say this is the case, it’s what eventually inspired me to start the FoodBloggrs blog.

Here are just some of the things that make it a popular destination for foodies.

Regional Specialties of Midi Pyrenees

Probably the best known specialty from this region is cassoulet, a sausage stew that’s very popular around the Toulouse region. Part of this is due to the fame of Toulouse sausages which are world-renowned for flavor, and making stews.

Other specialties include duck confit, various liver pates and respounjous, a type of asparagus as well as braised goose, sauce perigueux, poule au pot and piperade.

Local Desserts

There’s plenty to tempt the sweet tooth in the Midi-Pyrenees including Gateau a la Broche, Chasselas of Moissac and for a slightly healthier option, Lectoure melons.

Regional Cheeses

The French love their cheese and visitors to France love to eat their cheese. Those paying a trip to this part of France will be pleased to know that the Midi Pyrenees is home to some very interesting cheeses including Tomme de Vache Barousse, Tomme des Pyrenees, Moulis, faisselle, Pyrenees, Rocamadour, Roquefort, and Cabecou, to name just a few of these special cheese you should try. Since French people are so proud of their local cuisine, you’re unlikely to have to wander very far to find one of these cheeses – most local specialities are available in the local supermarket, something that’s again not too common or well-known to us in the English-speaking part of the world.

Wine and other Boozy Treats

Although not as famous as other departments for wine, namely Gironde, the Midi-Pyrenees is home to a few very important wines. These are Cahors, Tarn and Rouergue (Gaillac), Gascogne and Pyrenees (Armagnac, Madiran) and most importantly Guyenne (Bergerac).

For those visiting nearby, there’s also the Basque Country which is relatively undiscovered when it comes to food. However, considering that the region sits in between both France and Spain, the cuisine benefits from what really is the best of both worlds.

The Midi-Pyrenees is a fantastic destination for foodies and the fact that the rest of France is so proud of what the region has to offer, speaks volumes of the level of quality and dedication to food. If you’re travelling to France this year, remember: the diet can always wait.

Other Attractions

Although food is by all accounts one of the most important reasons to visit a country and in particular a country like France where food is so important, it’s important to have a few other non-food related activities as well.

The main reason for this is that after breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and the occasional snack, it actually gets quite difficult to fit in food-related activities. By all means don’t let that put you off trying, but just consider when you’re in Toulouse after gorging yourself on the best cassoulet in the city, that there’s plenty of other things to see and do such as la Musee des Augustins or la Cathedrale St-Etienne. Just a thought.

More Food Articles:

French Breakfast: What do French people eat

Typical French Meals

More articles on Midi Pyrenees

Tarn, Tarn et Garonne, Lot and Aveyron

Toulouse – a visitor’s delight in Midi-Pyrenees

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