A generous land
The region of Béarn is immersed in nature. It offers a plethora of outdoor activities but also shares its riches with never ending generosity to create our local gastronomy, also known as terroir. This is how, over the centuries, our producers cultivated the love of good food and refined wines.Let’s start with the famous Garbure ! This dish, typically from Béarn, is a hearty soup made with vegetables and meats. Cooked with simple, quality products, it has an air of conviviality. Cabbage, confit duck wings and local beans are key ingredients of this traditional dish. Enjoy it by the fireplace, with family or friends. Garbure was a trademark meal for Gascon farmers, all year round. Its recipe evolved with the seasons and depended on what was available in the vegetable patch and the pantry. It adapted to each and everyone’s tastes.
It is most delicious and comforting when including a local variety of bean, the haricot-maïs. This legume was introduced in Europe alongside corn, during the 16th century, when Colombus returned from America. A tradition blossomed in farms across Bearn: planting a bean seed for each 2 plants of corn. This climbing plant reaches up to 2,5 metres in height, making it a perfect prop.
Now is time for Poule au pot ! This traditional Béarnais dish goes back to the 18th century. A comforting delicacy made with stewed hen, carrots, turnips, leeks, onions and cloves.
We have yet to discuss wood pigeons, who are seized by hunters whilst crossing the Pyrenees passes and can be found on the finest tables in Bearn. They are best enjoyed roasted or in a salmis, roasted before being reheated in sauce.
What will you have for desert?
The famous Roussanne peach wins over all hearts. Though this extremely tasty peach variety appeared during the Middle Ages, it is very fragile and suffers during transportation. Its culture, which requires a great expertise, was brought back to life nearly twenty years ago, with great success. The Roussanne peach is famous for its unique flavour, ripened by the sunshine-covered hills of Bearn.
Cheese is emblematic of the local Pyrénées culture. The natural richness of the pasture’s flora offers Bearnais cheese unique and varied flavours.
And of course, all of these delicious dishes are to be enjoyed with a good glass of wine. Béarn has a long tradition of quality when it comes to this : Jurançon, Pacherenc, Madiran and AOC Bearn. A thousand and one nuances in both red and white wines to accompany all of the best meals.
Nature has been so generous to us… come enjoy its gifts!