RESTAURANTS & FRENCH GASTRONOMY
In 2010, UNESCO added French cuisine to the list of cultural objects that are called ‘intangible cultural heritage’. South west cuisine is known to be one of the best in France with its high quality products, delicious tastes and savoury dishes. The region will offer you high quality poultry, hams and dry sausages. The finest sausage in France is commonly acknowledged to be the saucisse de Toulouse, which also finds its way into their version of cassoulet of Toulouse. The Cahors area produces a high quality specialty “black wine” as well as high-quality truffles and mushrooms. The region also produces milk-fed lamb, unpasteurized ewe‘s milk is used to produce the Roquefort in Aveyron, while in Laguiole is producing unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese. Cabécou cheese is from Rocamadour, a medieval settlement erected directly on a cliff, in the rich countryside of Causses du Quercy.
The most popular dishes are:
Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole, containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white beans (haricots blancs).
The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.
Foie gras is a luxury food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. It is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine.
Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of an ordinary duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté, and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak.
Confit de canard
Duck confit is a French dish made with the leg of the duck. It is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then cooking it in its own fat.
Garbure is a thick French soup or stew of ham with cabbage and other vegetables, usually with cheese and stale bread added.
It differed from one home to the next and varied with the rhythms of the seasons, the resources of the cook, and with household income. The basic principle behind this dish is the lengthy simmering of an assortment of vegetables and meats, generally meats preserved en confit.
As far as vegetables go, anything is possible. The cabbage may be accompanied by broad beans, fresh or dried, mange tout peas, potatoes, turnips, peas, onions, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, beets, lettuce, chestnuts, nettles or borage.
Toulouse is undeniably the capital of the wines of the Southwest of France. The kings of France but also those of England loved the wines of the Southwest. They encouraged the continued practice of growing the local grape varieties which still make them stand out today: Tariquet, Armagnac, Gaillac vineyards, Fronton vineyards and Cahors appellation are the most famous one.
To taste Roquefort, Rocamadour and Pyrenean tomme is to travel to landscapes and traditional skills that turn fine unpasteurised milk, whether from sheep, cows or goats, into the finest products of the French cheese-making tradition.
Victor Hugo covered market
Market and restaurants open on week mornings & lunches – closed on Mondays.
Close to the Jean Jaures metro station.
This market is home to famous traders who have hand-made local food. Not expensive, it is the best place to buy the city’s gastronomic specialties including the “Saucisses de Toulouse” (a type of sausage), “cassoulet Toulousain” (a bean and pork stew) and “garbure” (a cabbage soup with poultry). Last but not least, “foie gras”, duck or goose liver, is a delicacy mainly made in the Midi-Pyrénées. On the first floor, restaurants are budget-friendly and open for lunch offering great and fresh local dishes. More information : http://www.marche-victor-hugo.fr/
Carmes covered market
Place des Carmes, daily covered market from 06:00 to 13:00 except Mondays
Metro line B: Carmes station
Smaller than the covered Victor Hugo market, you will find local traders offering fish, food, meat, fruits and veggies and specific food and dishes from southwestern France, including duck breast, foie gras, Toulouse sausages and a good selection of cheeses.
Boulevard de Strasbourg et d’Arcole, daily outdoor market operating from 06 :00 to 13 :00 except Monday.
Metro line B: Jeanne-d’arc station.
Famous outdoor fruit and vegetable market. The Marche Cristal, known as the “Market of the Boulevard” by the locals, is a friendly little market, where stalls are shaded by the plane trees. You will find inexpensive fresh fruits and vegetables.
Place Saint-Aubain, Sundays from 7:00 to 14:00.
Metro line B: François Verdier station.
Small farm products, clothing, accessories, food, booksellers … Scattered around the Basilica of St-Aubin. Here farmers sell local salads, cheeses, honey, fruit, breads and poultry. The market is extremely cheerful, and pleasant with bands playing in summer. It’s a very pleasant place to have a stroll on Sunday and enjoy a local coffee on one of the “terrasses”.
Esparcette Organic Market
Place du Capitole, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7:00 to 13:30.
Metro line A: Capitole station.
Esparcette Organic Market, also called “Marché Bio” (organic market), is located behind the Capitole place close to the tourist office. Organic farmers sell their products here, the freshness of vegetables and fruits are guaranteed.
Saint-Sernin, Sundays from 7:00 to 13:30
Metro line B: Jeanne d’Arc
The market is located near the renowned Saint-Sernin Basilica in the center of old Toulouse. Vendors organize this open market every Sunday. Prices are low, and there is a wide assortment of goods, very popular with the locals. Here you can find everything from clothes to antiques, souvenirs to household items.