The end of the year is approaching! With her, family reunions and a succession of delicacies. Your taste buds will be tantalized, ideas for festive dishes come to you … semi-cooked foie gras, pan-fried foie gras, duck breast, confit, stuffed. Ideas, recipes and products can be found in Belpech on the first or second weekend of December!
The Foie Gras Fair
When we arrived there, we were struck by the variety of stands set up along the aisle. I already feel that I will fully savor this morning.
For an appetizer before getting to the heart of the matter, cascades honey jars, bottles of wine in sweet colors, mountains of cold meats, cheese and rustic breads. Outside, producers are waiting for us and promising us, with a large smile, lively tastings!
Inside the huge village hall, there are stalls of capon, ducks and foie gras ready to cook or in jars. Caught up by one of the producers *, we let ourselves be tempted by a duck that we will prepare for the Christmas dinner, after asking for a cut.
At the microphone, outside, someone is announcing a duck weighing competition. We are going to try our luck: if I manage to guess the weight of the duck, we will leave with a second specimen from the Bellemayre farm! So what do you say about it: 3.5 or 6 kilos? Not far from there, a winegrower * hands us two glasses.
Under the tent of the Chambre d’Agriculture, Mr. Marty, from the Domaine de Caudemique, begins to cut a duck: everything is good in the duck, nothing is to waste. Inside the village hall, there is a prize-giving ceremony for the duck and goose foie gras competition as well as dishes cooked around Chicken, the theme of the year.
Hungry, we slip back into the village hall to enjoy a good meal that we had taken care to reserve in advance with the Belpech Fair Committee.
The Farm Shop
After a good meal, we head to the Bellemayre farm, which won a prize in the fair competition earlier in the morning. Alix and Patrick welcome us to the small shop on the farm.
In the midst of Alix’s explanations, we can hear geese and ducks in the shed next door… 1,300 per year, anyway! The products that fill the shelves come directly from the family farm, which Alix and his companion took over in 2013. The animals, mainly of the Mulard * breed, are fed with cereals from the farm … With great success , in view of the cups and medals covering the top shelves! To complete our end year meals, we succumb to rillettes and pâtés.
The Art Cutler
Again on the roads. This time, we are heading towards Molandier. We want to meet an artisan of fine cutlery. When we arrive, Philippe Hérail is waiting for us on his doorstep. His workshop is located at home, in Dreuil, after the village of Molandier. The passionate craftsman shows us his raw materials, real raw treasures in his expert hands. Thousand-year-old Mammoth molar handles, tinted warthog. I immediately dive into his world of millimeter precision! It’s just bluffing.
Philippe offers to show us how, after having drawn his future blade, he cuts it. Greedy, I ask him if he has a knife left that has not yet been sold … Philippe mostly works on order, but luckily he has one left. This will make a great gift to offer!
Fresh Air in Prés de l’Amourier
In the middle of the afternoon, fatigue is starting to kick in. Need a little peace and quiet. For the last time of the day, we take the wheel again in the direction of Gaja-la-Selve. Our hosts, Pascale and Michel, are waiting for us at Prés de l’Amourier.
After a few minutes in the middle of the luminous and hilly landscapes of the Piège (fleeting impression of being alone in the world!), We go up the stony path that leads to the lodge. And there, the sight jumps out at us. Michel and Pascale guide us to our cottage before offering us a few golf swings and a little spa, alone, facing the valley. There is something for every taste !
We will leave the next day after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, for a hike, a historic walk, or whatever?
In any case, a successful bet for this weekend when the traditional and festive events *, tastings and discoveries will have been matched only by the serenity and the beauty of the place. A place to recharge your batteries before the frenzy of the end of the year celebrations!
1 – Christophe TARDIEU, Pays Cathare producer
In the mi-cuit foie gras competition, Christophe Tardieu won the gold medal in 2019 …
In summer, M Tardieu participates, locally, in various night markets where you can taste and buy his products.
Direct sale at the farm by appointment : +33 4 68 60 66 30 / +33 6 82 62 15 89
2 – Jeaneterres Domain
Family winegrowers, father and son, work together to produce wines with a great grapes variety. The Deveyer family owns lands around Cenne-Monestiés, but also in La Livinière.
3 – Canard : mulard ou barbare ?
Mulard is a duck resulting from a cross. It is white with sometimes black on the top of the head and the edge of the wings.
Rather, barbarism originated in America. It is characterized by red growths on the beak and eyes.
4 – The parade of brotherhoods in fanfare: Sunday morning at the Foie Gras Fair.
To the rhythm of the fanfare, the brotherhoods follow one another in the great alley on Sunday morning. A special, festive and traditional moment. The brotherhood of the Salsaïres, the Pastous of the Pyrenees … in ceremonial clothes, our gourmets follow one another behind their colorful banners.
Sculptural Trail in Fanjeaux :
The Fanjeaux bell tower is like a lighthouse in the landscape, a signal at the altitude of 360 meters. The rich history of this city is revealed through the streets where little gardens enchant the stones. It is here, in the heart of the Pays Cathare, that Simon de Montfort and Saint Dominic have chosen to settle, to lead the fight against heresy … The particular sculptures of Loïc Tellier will tell you the story of this charming city. If you come on site with toddlers, don’t forget to stop at the tourist office, games and surprises will wait for you!
Little hike tour in Laurac :
In Laurac-le-Grand, the small town, once capital of Lauragais, didn’t lost anything of its charm. The remains of the 13th century Porte Saliège allow the passage to a stroll through times. An interpretive trail guides you from the center of the village to the surrounding hills. From point of view to point of view, from panel to panel, discover the fascinating history of this ancient castrum. Don’t forget to download the discovery mobile application (free) before arriving on site: it will allow you to listen to and recognize the birds that inhabit these hills!
Mobile application available for free in the Ios and Android stores: Au Cœur des Collines Cathares.
OTHER GOOD PLACES NEARBY:
To sleep in Belpech :
• La maison du cordonnier : Barsa – 11420 BELPECH +33 (0)184.108.40.206.54
• Gîte Enraynes le Neuf : Enraynes le Neuf – 11420 BELPECH +33 (0)220.127.116.11.95
• La Maison du Potier : Le Moulin – Labastide Couloumat – 11420 BELPECH +33 (0)18.104.22.168.22
Crafts in Belpech :
• Ebénisterie Paul Armengaud : www.lesballonsderugbyenbois.com
• Maroquinerie Boutikaflo : www.bko-maroquinerie.com
• Potier céramiste : www.picot-irenee-potier-ceramiste.fr
• Les jardins d’étoiles Tresmèzes, 11420 Belpech: www.facebook.com/jardindtoiles
• Les Fleurilèges des collines : www.lesfleurilegesdescollines.fr
• EARL Godement, Gouzy, 11420 Belpech +33 (0)4 68 60 62 52