If Les Landes are, from the tourist point of view, associated with sandy beaches, waves ideal for surfing, pine forests, “ferias” (annual local festival in Spain and southern France, characterized by bullfights, bull running in the streets) and “bandas” (marching bands); food is an important part of Les Landes' cultural heritage.
There are many restaurants that celebrate the regional cuisine in their menus and colourful markets supply all the seasonal products.
It a major centre for foie gras, this gastronomic delight is ever-present in all of Les Landes good restaurants. Prepared from fat poultry (geese or ducks) and reared by producers who have passed their know-how and excellence down the generations, it can be consumed in many ways and all year round.
Confits and duck breasts are the delight of the gourmets. Here, the top quality poultry farms, free range and fed with corn hold the Label rouge* (Red Label). Hunting wood pigeon has a long tradition in this area, and as a result, Salmis of wood pigeon (roasted wood pigeon in a “salmis” sauce) is the tradional dish of the south-west France.
* Label Rouge (Red Label) certifies that a product has a specific set of characteristics establishing a superior level to that of a similar product
The sandy lands and the oceanic climate of Les Landes are favourable for some vegetable production like the carrots, asparagus, or the chilli pepper. From spring, the green or slightly purple asparagus can be found on the market stalls; they hold a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)*– Landes de Gascogne – and are enjoyed either with a vinaigrette or with a mousseline sauce. The primeur carrot with a strong taste is also much sought after by the consumers. Red or green, the sweet pepper is the basis of many recipes.
On the livestock farming side, the Chalosse beef, icon of quality and tradition, produces delicious meat. Fed on grass, and originating of “noble meat breed” like the “Aquitaine blond”, the “Limousine” or the “bazadaise”, its tender and savoury meat is labelled and certified.
On the fruit production side, the Adour kiwi holds a “Label Rouge”*. Sweet and juicy, the kiwi is harvested fully ripe from November. Rich in fibre, in magnesium and in vitamin C, the kiwi is the ideal partner for a very healthy winter.
On the cheese side, the speciality is a sheep pressed cheese with a smsll golden crust, the “Amou”.
On the desserts side, the “Landais Pastis” is a traditional pastry, a sweet brioche flavoured with orange blossom anise, rum, vanilla and sprinkle with coarse sugar. The “Apple or prune Tourtière”, is made of many layers of puff pastry, often flavoured with Armagnac.
Armagnac is a distinctive brandy obtained from distilled dry white wine and aged on oak barrels, providing its specific colour and aromas. It was discovered during the 14th century. Armagnac is made by producers who have passed their know-how and excellence down the generations
The Floc de Gasgogne, from a 16th century recipe, is a combination of Armagnac and fresh grape juice; it is the aperitif of Les Landes. It is also best served with foie gras, desserts and cheeses.
Wines: Thanks to a favourable climate, you can find many wines in Les Landes, red, rosé and white: the Tursan, the Côteau de Chalosse and the Vin de sables.
Being a land beside the ocean, the coast of Les Landes gives access to the abundant resources of the sea. Shellfish and fish are part of the culinary delicacies of Les Landes cuisine.
Les Landes are a territory between sea and countryside, where the life is pleasant and where the gastronomy fully utilises the diversity of its products, the talent of its producers, farmers, fishermen and its chefs to the pleasure of all the epicureans who taste it.
* Label Rouge (Red Label) certifies that a product has a specific set of characteristics establishing a superior level to that of a similar current product
*Protected geographical indication (PGI)*
The protected geographical indications (PGI) identify an agricultural product, raw or processed, which quality, reputation or other characteristics are linked to its geographical origin.