If the Landes are for all holidaymakers, synonymous with fine sandy beaches, waves ideal for surfing, pine forests, ferias and bandas, gastronomy is part of the Landes heritage and culture, it holds a leading role. Many good restaurants showcase this regional cuisine on their menus. The colorful markets allow you to stock up on seasonal products.
Land of choice for foie gras, this gastronomic product is omnipresent on all Landes tables. From fatty poultry (geese or duck) raised by producers in love with know-how and a quality that they have been able to transmit, it is consumed in all its forms and all year round.
Confits and duck breasts delight gourmets. Here, premium farm poultry, raised in the open air and fed on corn, benefit from the red label.
Hunting land, in the Landes, we also taste game: deer, roe deer, wild boar, hare, quail or wood pigeon. They are found in stew, marinated... Do you prefer lighter flavors? Try the wood pigeon salmis… A long-simmered stew with lots of flavor that goes well with wines with a strong taste.
On the breeding side, Chalosse beef, a symbol of quality and tradition, produces succulent meat. Fed with fodder, and from noble meat breeds such as Blonde d'Aquitaine, Limousine or Bazadaise, its tender and tasty meat is labeled and certified.
The sandy soils and the oceanic climate of the Landes are favorable to the cultivation of several market gardening products such as carrots, asparagus, or sweet pepper. From spring, we find sand asparagus on the market stalls. White, with a green or slightly purple bud, it has a Protected Geographical Identification - Landes de Gascogne - and can be appreciated on a plate with vinaigrette or with a mousseline sauce. The strong-tasting early carrot is also popular with consumers. Red or green, the sweet pepper of Seignanx is the basis of many recipes, it is eaten raw or cooked in traditional dishes.
In terms of fruit production, we will particularly remember the Adour kiwi, which has a red label. Sweet and juicy, it is harvested when ripe in November. Rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamin C, it is the ideal partner to spend a winter at its best.
As a cheese specialty, Amou is a pressed sheep cheese with a thin, golden rind. We also find sheep cheese from the Basque Country, Ossau Iraty and locally, on farms, small fresh goat or sheep cheeses, sometimes matured, such as Cabécou or Rocamadour, but a Landes version!
As for desserts, Landes pastis is a traditional pastry, brioche style made from orange blossom, anise, rum and vanilla and sprinkled with grains of sugar, it is sometimes called La Bourrit. We will not forget either the apple tourtière, which is also called simply pie or croustade, which can be with prunes, a cake made of several layers of puff pastry, often flamed with Armagnac, hummmmmm.
In Dax, you can taste a Madeleine- type specialty, made there for 5 generations.
Armagnac is a brandy obtained from the distillation of dry white wines. It is aged in oak barrels, which gives it its particular color and its aromas. It is found in the Gers, the Landes and part of the Lot-et-Garonne. Discovered in the 14th century, it is continuously distilled, sometimes in 2 passes, and this process has given birth to many festive traditions, including the Flame of Armagnac which celebrates the lighting of the stills at the end of October. Armagnac is made according to a know-how of yesteryear that the winegrowers strive to perpetuate.
If you mix young Armagnac and soft grape, you get Floc de Gascogne. An aperitif with a delicate fragrance, very popular in summer with a melon or as a basis for the preparation of fresh and fruity cocktails.
Land of the ocean, the Landes coast also allows you to taste the innumerable resources of the sea. Crustaceans and fish are also the delights of Landes cuisine. It is in Hossegor and Capbreton that we find delicious oysters and restaurants specializing in seafood, even if the entire coast does not lack resources on this side! In Capbreton, don't miss the fish market, in this town where the only port in the Landes is located, curiously...
The Adour river also offers its treasures to gourmet travelers. The Saumon de l'Adour is a wild salmon that is caught in the Adour and in the gaves of Pau and Oloron. It is an exceptional product that deserves special care. To meet one of the last traditional smokers and learn about smoking techniques, go to Peyrehorade, at Maison Barthouil, which welcomes you in its shop and museum.