There’s more to Bordeaux than….

wine and history and culture….…. there’s also food.
Traditionally visitors to Bordeaux end up quacking after a few days with the Foie gras and Sauternes, Magret and Medoc or Confit de canard and Saint Emilion matches that are often served in local chateaux and bistros alike – and who can complain it’s all delicious but there is more to the local gastronomy than duck.
Think the famous ‘Agneau de Pauillac’, you can guess which wine is served with that, and the ‘Asperges de Blaye’ always delightful in spring with the dry white Sauvignon blanc based blends.
There is one product that seemed lacking and that is a local cheese. Renown Bordeaux cheesemonger Jean d’Alos has now come up with an new idea based an old tradition to remedy this. In the past, local shepherds would make a spring cheese from milking their goats kept in the Graves vineyards before herding them back to towards the Pyrenees for the summer. In the 15th century cellar under the town centre shop the cheesemongers from Jean d’Alos have renewed this tradition. Ageing hard goats milk cheeses named Tomme d’Aquitaine for at least 4 months and washing them twice a week with Sauternes to give them a unique fruity flavor.

The 15th century aging cellar under the town centre Jean d’Alos cheeseshop

And how about some fish, yes the Atlantic ocean is not far, giving a wonderful supply of shellfish, in particular oysters. However the famous Gironde estuary that influences the microclimate of the Medoc is also traditionally home to the Sturgeon. The wild Sturgeon was sadly over fished long ago but is now being introduced and a local company Sturia is now France’s leading caviar producer with sturgeon being farmed at 9 different sites producing 12 tonnes of caviar each year. The often forgotten flesh of the Sturgeon is also delicious and local Michelin star chef Philippe Etchebest from the beautiful l’Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint Emilion is a big fan, often using it, as well as the caviar, in his recipes. He has now gone a step further creating a small range of products based on the sturgeon.

Tasting the Sturgeon pâté on the terrace of the Hostellerie de Plaisance.

There are 2 pâtés (my favourite is the slightly spicy one) and a marinated sturgeon with an Asian flavoured marinade and you don’t have to come to Saint Emilion to try them (although I do recommend it). Both are available on the web site and can be shipped, now all you have to do is decide which of Bordeaux 60 appellations matches best – bon appétit!

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