Gascony is renowned for the quality of its food. There are many local restaurants, each with their own specialities, but everywhere you will find fresh ingredients cooked in imaginative ways. The daily markets sell wonderful fresh, mainly local produce and the opportunity to buy direct from the producer, allows you to exercise your own imagination and culinary skills. The area is strongly rooted in tradition, surrounded by vineyards and producing mainly cereals, sunflowers and vegetable crops, together with the very handsome ‘Blonde d’Aquitaine’ cattle and poultry of all varieties, especially duck, geese and guinea fowl.
The area is surrounded by Armagnac producers and the excellent Cotes de Gascogne wines. The local aperitif ‘Floc’ has its own appellation – a fortified wine, Floc is a mixture of armagnac and fresh grape juice. The Madiran wines are rich in procyanidins – the healthiest red wine, full of antioxidants! There are several independent vineyards in the local area we can recommend. Pousse Rapière from Monluc is a mix of orange and armagnac and when topped up with sparkling wine makes a delicious aperitif.
Confit and magret of duck and, of course, foie gras of duck and goose are the major regional specialities. You will also find melons from Lectoure, prunes from Agen, fresh ceps, figs, walnuts, garlic, artichokes, the local Brebis cheese and truffles in the many local daily markets. This is a great area for gourmets in all seasons.
The Gers has short winters and long summers bathed in balmy days of sunshine and winds and rains from the Atlantic . As with southern climates there can be extremes of temperatures but not long lasting. Spring starts early with masses of fruit blossom running into the beautiful flowering months of May and June. Summer can last into October with cooler nights and days warm enough for swimming. Skiing in the Pyrénées is best February to March.