On a Balmy Evening, The Journalists Want to Eat Locally

Outdoor dining at Chateau de Lassalle, Lot-en-Garonne, France.Last night we dined outside in a balmy evening, a relief after the day’s temps were in the upper 90s here in Southwestern France. This weather is unexpected and in most of France, there is a drought parching crops. But in this district, Lot-en-Garonne, golden wheat is being harvested, the first of a few crops this year and the sunflowers are already four feet high and drooping their heavy heads.

Being surrounded by this much farmland, and virtually no noise other than the sounds of the birds, is tonic. There aren’t that many places you can go and have this wide expanse and still not be bothered by the sounds of the world. It’s a bit hypnotizing, all of this expanse and faraway views, the way it is when you can’t stop looking out at the ocean.

At dinner we journalists kept asking about what’s local, and looking over the 34E prefix menu, wanted them to bring us products and wine made here. The fois gras, indeed, was made from local ducks, and as soon as I shared this fact on Facebook, I got a complaint from a vegetarian friend.

But boy it’s good! It’s the ultimate meat, just a few little slices on crusty bread. The wine was also a local variety–a deep red called Vin Noir, black wine, a mix of merlot, Cabernet and Tannat, a grape I’ve never heard of. It was tannic and got better as we moved our main courses, meats like veal and slow-cooked pork.