The trip back was eventless . I went to the market closer to home and bought some duck foie gras for my terrines, the price ? 18 $ a pound ! I am not making this up but when it comes to foie gras, buyer beware !
As you can see this duck business is really serious, this is what I call being in the zone, the Samathan zone that is !
Today up at ,I am all excited about my trip to foie gras country. I have not done this in ………40+ years ! This is real special as old rules are still used today in the “marchés du gras” .
We take the road and it is still dark, I don’t care much for driving at night but I would not miss this for anything, I am just too excited. I do love to drive and explore the French country side for it is where real life is, at its most basic as well as at its richest in many ways. For sure mother nature has done a good job here. The drive will take about two hours considering that we will use small country roads. I am heading to the department of Gers which is the heart of
The locals are all farmers with a few city slickers here and there. Agriculture is big here and mostly corn which means also a lot of poultry and fowl.
Forget about free range as we know it in the
We did get to go to Mirande only to find no “
One farmer was critical of the markets and suggested that we go to his wife’s farm since she was now selling the goods direct from the farm. We declined and instead talked to the waitress who was helpful with directions to Samatan. Here we go ! When I said small roads I meant just that, small ! I had a small car so no problem for me but focus on driving was a must.
The canard gras and oies grasses market started at 930 am and of course we were late getting there, well tough luck, you snooze you loose ! Long story short,when we got to the hall where duck and goose were being sold, it was almost over.
I do mean FAT duck ! Above are ducks without the foie inside which are used for confits and magrets and below is a duck with the foie still inside.
I quickly surveyed the scene and only found three farmers with ducks for sale. Between the three of them, no more than 20 fat ducks. Good enough for me to sample the view, the smell, the tradition, the atmosphere, you name it and it was as close as duck heaven as a Chef could get to.
The price ? about 2.20 euros a kilo or 1.60 $ a pound at today’s exchange rate without the fattened liver inside. Are you kidding me ? This is good and it all goes to the farmer, no middle man here ! No wonder all the locals do their own confits and such ! From where I stand the price is very right. You can of course buy the fat duck with the liver inside fora different price of course but still affordable. Below is some fresh foie gras coming right out, does not get any fresher !
Looking back, I was too excited to ask not wanting to cut into the negociating I was looking at from a few feet. I am digging this very much, how can I possibly express what it means to me ? It is a passion kind of a thing, the passion for food that some of us carry and live everyday as it is what we know and what we do best. For those of you who are not sure what it is, all you have to do is hang around some of us. Chefs are really nice people and they don’t bite, so there. Just bring the wine ! I will take you inside of this room on my next post, come on back !
all night ! Might have been the coffee in the afternoon since here it always has a higher octane. No funny coffee here !
After lunch my sister drove me to buy my essentials to take home such as moutarde, chocolat, sel etc, this much is off my list . We went to the Lindt chocolate plant thinking it would be cheaper, yeah right, not a chance! The drive was only 20 minutes but the view was gorgeous as the first snow of the year fell overnight down to 1200 feet which is not far from where we live.
Not bad for a first snow but not far either !
Clear day, sun out, the
I do not write everyday as you can see but the last few days have been really crummy weather wise. Rain rain and more rain. The area is dotted with many streams and rivers and they all are swollen, brown, rolling and raging. Water here is not a problem and it is cheap too. In fact it is so cheap that we get one bill a year and it is the equivalent of one
I am thinking of hitting a foie gras market tomorrow morning early with my sister as I will do a terrine for her birthday. I also need some pics for my classes and the terroir culture here is the best. It will also bring me back to the mid sixties when I was doing those markets with my boss of that time.
Rain or not tomorrow I will go look for my foie gras among the best of the freshest and I do mean fresh like in fresh killed, a day or two max. Get ready for some good story and pics to boot.
Get that country bread on the grill, the terrine is ready !
Let me count the ways: terrine de foie gras, cured foie gras in grey salt, foie gras au torchon, foie gras roulade in Malbec wine, poached foie gras on a bed of fennel confit with black pepper caramel sauce, a duo of salmon and fresh foie gras en papillote with Muscat wine, what ? fish and foie gras ? You bet and you should try it sometime .