Le Croquant de Sarlat.

Le Croquant de Sarlat is a dry and crunchy, caramelised sugar ‘biscuit’ like treat, often made with almonds or walnuts. It is mainly made in the South West of France with each pâtisserie having their own, closely guarded variation on the recipe.

It was only a couple of months ago that Paul and I first saw these biscuits at Pâtisserie Massoulier in Sarlat so, feeling the need to assuage a sweet tooth we just had to try them.

Croquant is French for crisp or crunchy, the ‘biscuit’ is often named ‘crunchy Perigord’ and they are delicious.

 
The ‘biscuits’ may be large or small, plain or with nuts.

 
They are something like a brittle, hard and perfect to crumble over ice cream, layered into parfaits, or to eat as they are.

 
More tempting delights at Pâtisserie Massoulier.
33 Rue de la République, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda.
 
 
Event:-. The bunting and flags are flying, the Bumper Cars are all set up to go in La Place de La Liberty. Daglan Fête starts on Friday 18th August.

 
 

On Hot Summer Nights

During the months of July and August the villages in the area host their “Marches Nocturnes”, which are a brilliant way of experiencing the local produce and culture of the region. What could be better on hot Summer nights than food, wine, music, dance and most of all excellent company.

During the evening markets tables are set up around a central square or along the main road of the villages and vendors sell everything you need for a good meal, including the excellent wine of the region. There is usually live music or a DJ and dancing well into the evening. Which is what we did in St Cyprien and St Pompon.

Saint Cyprien

Not even a rain shower stopped the revelry in St Cyprien.
 

Sherry and Angus ready for their dinner
 

Brilliant musicians topped the evening.
 

Saint Pompon

Such a delicious choice of food.
 

Wow, we had to try a selection of the scrumptious desserts above.
 

This gentleman danced around the bottles, sang, played an instrument of four harmonica’s, plus castanets.
 

You meet such a lot of interesting people. The couple at the end of our table were on holiday from the North of France. We were telling them about the places of interest in the area, including Daglan of course.
 

Angus and I had to get up and dance YMCA, great fun.
 

Boogie Night for Sherry and I. We had such a good time that we are all going to St Pompon again this Saturday… see you there.

You need to arrive early for a good seat and remember to take your own cutlery.
 
 

Events :-

It is that time of year again, four nights of no sleep but boy do we have fun.


 
 

Would Paella fit through the letter box?

Food glorious food, or rather “Promenade en Gastronomy Daglan 2017”. Our first impression of the event was the unmistakable aroma of roasting chicken and paella which permeated our home last Sunday morning. Our cat Angel sitting by the front door and licking her lips was also a sure sign that the Gastronomy Sunday was up and running.

The Paella and roast chicken stall made using our front door interesting to say the least and keeping the shutters closed reduced the temptation for our cats to go on secret raids. I had visions of Angel dragging a whole roast chicken home.

The side door was also temporarily blocked by a large white van being unloaded. No problem we waited for the lane to clear to enjoy the experience.

For Sunday lunch we could have lowered a basket from the balcony.

 
Le Place De La Liberté was packed with stalls offering various types of food and drink.

 
Long queues of locals and tourists were forming to buy the produce.

 
Tempted by truffles, these looked so good.

 
The forest materialised the day before for the truffle dog demonstration. Such a gorgeous dog who found the truffles in record time, but I think that the aroma of chicken, sausage and paella was a great distraction.

 
The Boulangerie stall selling various types of bread.

 
One simply cannot have a Gourmand Sunday without garlic.

 
Or wine, this is just one of the many stalls selling wine.

 
Perhaps a little too much wine (or beer), but it looked like great fun.

 
 
Events :-

Dominique ALLAËRT is displaying his wonderful watercolours.
See and buy them at l’Ancien Presbytère, Daglan until the 26th August.
Dominique ALLAËRT, Aquarelliste.

 
 

Helping Hands.

My roving reporter Paul was on hand to capture the “helping hands” a few days ago. Imagine the scene if you will, a large lorry arrives in the square, loaded with stock for the Supermarket in the village. When voices were heard, “oh no we can not unload”, but in French off course.

What do you do?

Send out a distress call to the local builders yard of course.

Freytet, building material supplier.

Were soon on hand with a forklift truck.

I am always amazed at how helpful people are in our village. The stock unloaded and in the store is ready for another week of the tourist season.

Remember that for the summer season the 8 à Huit supermarket is open every day including lunch hour, except on Sunday when closes for lunch then opens again in the afternoon. They sell an excellent range of products from fresh, chilled, frozen and tinned foods, to wine, beer, milk etc.
 

Shared Garden Project

Shared gardens was developed by the children in the village Primary School has part of the common land development scheme, which was organised by our Marie this year in the residence of the convent.

All completely pesticide free and organic, grown to perfection.
 

Event :-

Promenade en Gastronomie this Sunday in Daglan.
Delicious food and wine to savour and enjoy. Will be served at the various stalls around the village this Sunday. Not to be missed is a truffle dog demonstration that will take place in La Place de la Liberty.

The Three Musketeers.

Last Sunday we were invited to the general assembly of the Club de L’Amitie Daglanaise, which incorporated the Annual General Meeting followed by a luncheon.

Each year there are celebrations and presents for any member of the Club de L’Amitie Daglanaise who’s birthday ends in a zero or a five. Our village Musketeers who are all boules champions and who have great tales to tell of their life experiences look happy indeed.

The Three MusketeersHappy trio.

I must say that the French know how to enjoy their food, three hours of eating, drinking and being a little merry is the norm, wonderful.

Menu

Aperitif
Kir and bowels of snacks

Soup
Pearls of Japan carcass broth (not for me being a vegetarian) but Paul thought it was delicious

Starter
Bites of seafood (this did look good, pastry filled with sea food) Could not eat due to animal fat in the pastry so I had smoked trout with salad which was gorgeous

Main Dish
Supreme of guinea fowl with sauce, peas and gratin dauphinois
My main was fish cooked to perfection, with the peas and gratin dauphinois. It was so filling that I could not eat it all.

Cheese
Green salad with three different cheeses

Dessert
Caramel cream, raspberry tiramisu, chocolate cake, wow delicious.

All the above served with white or red wine

Coffee

Our presidentOur president of the Club, Lydie Pasquet.

Suck a lemonSucking a lemon! No just pulling a face at Paul

Quite a gatheringIt was great to meet new people and to catch up with others that we have met previously at the club.

Events :-

Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, re-opens after its winter break for a guided tour on the theme of a fortified castle under attack on 5th March.

Daglan, holds its Second Spring Festival on 19th March

Party time at Café de la Fleur.

Robin and Charlotte have worked wonders on this property, transforming a neglected bistro into something quite special. They have worked extremely hard to renovate the first floor bar area/restaurant and the second floor which is now open for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Party’s etc. Most of the village attended the grand official opening last Saturday night.
 

dscn2301 Robin and Charlotte.
 

dscn2299Everyone was given a warm welcome with free wine and party food.
 
Gorgeous oak beams and interesting wallpaper made from newspaper and magazine cuttings.

dscn2298and a very welcoming fire on a cold evening.
 

dscn2303All girls together. I am the Hobbit size person wearing the Doctor Who scarf.
 

dscn2307Bonne Chance Robin, Charlotte and Café de la Fleur.

 

Event:- I am so excited, towards the end of last year I was asked to write a article for French Property News magazine about our buying experience, the renovation of our property, our village and the area in general. I can not tell you how nervous I was after sending the article to the editor but she loved it and a few days ago I was sent a copy to read complete with our pictures. Wow, the article is in the March issue.

Truffle Festival

This is undoubtedly the highlight of January, Sarlat Truffle Festival which ran for two days last weekend. There are not many things that would entice me to leave the warmth of a log fire when the temperature outside is -2 and I have a bad cold but the prospect of buying a truffle wins every time.

At up to one thousand euros a kilo the fusty, musty, heady truffle is among the worlds most expensive foods, comparable to caviar that is a similar price.

You can find truffles used in moose, macerons, chocolate, and thinly sliced on top or in various meat and vegetarian dishes. When Paul and I had a holiday in Umbria many years ago we were introduced to truffle ice cream, sounds a bit icky but it was so delicious.

Due to the fact that it can be used to flavour foods before you actually use the truffle it can be quite economical. Dropped in with other foods such as eggs, pasta, chicken or rice so the truffle aroma and taste will permeate most food products you can make a small truffle last for several meals.
 

Medieval Quarter in Sarlat Medieval Quarter in Sarlat where truffle hunters and Chiefs from all over the Perigord Black sell their truffles and truffle creations.

There have always been truffles in the Perigord Black but due to the First and Second World Wars, the nurture of the truffle went into decline, on one hand due to the loss of the smallholders and on the other hand the shrinking forests due to changes of land use and the exhaustion of truffle friendly trees. Across France in the 1930’s, the truffle harvest was roughly 1000 tons. During the 1960’s replanting of trees such as the French Oak was introduced plus other trees to test the growth of truffles. Now however is the constant threat of climate change. Hotter Summers and less rainfalls in other parts of France is reducing the growth of the truffle. So as the harvest starts to decline so the price increases. Today in sharp contrast it is only about 50 tons.
 

Truffles on displayVery proud owners of the truffle selling their finds at various weights and quality.
 

Truffle mooseTruffles made into moose with grated truffle on top, or thinly sliced between pate.
 

Two young Chiefs Two young Chiefs competing for the best truffle macerons. We did buy two macerons from them and ate them while the Chiefs waited for our response. Truly delicious boys.
 

Truffle maceronsOf course we had to buy two large macerons from another Chief to take home with us. You can not beat coffee or chocolate macerons made with truffles, the flavour is magnificent.
 

Our little truffleOur little prize along side a dessert spoon, we only paid fifteen euros so a really good price. We placed the truffle on top of eggs and left them over night. The truffle had permeated the egg shell by the morning giving the scrambled eggs the luxury flavour of truffle. Now the truffle is sitting in the rice container to flavour the rice.

A pig or a dog is usually used to sniff and find truffles in the forests, however I think that we may have the first truffle cat! Our kitten Cleo loves the smell of truffle.
 

Events:-

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 28th and 29th January for the International Céou Canoe Race.

Daglan 19th March for the Second Spring Festival of Flowers.