One of the things I wanted to do before leaving France was to meet my blogger friend, Stéphane (check out his super fantastic blog, My French Heaven), in Libourne. It seemed like an easy enough task because Libourne is about 20 minutes away from Bordeaux by train, but I kept messing up the timing 😦 The meeting finally took place a week and a half ago when Stéphane took some time out of his busy schedule to spend a bit of time with me in the morning. I took a train to Libourne, where I met Stéphane, and off we went to explore the town and its surroundings 😉
The main destination was the market in the town centre, where lots of fresh foods were being displayed. It reminded me of Capucins in Bordeaux, and sometimes I like to take a walk through these local markets even if I’m not doing grocery shopping. The smell of the morning air complimented with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood is a vitalizing start of a day!
Figues au foie gras…figs stuffed with duck liver? Hmm…sounds intriguing. I’ve recently begun to like the taste of foie gras (yes…I wasn’t a huge fan of it before) but I wonder how the fig/foie gras combination would taste. I imagine the texture would be very interesting.
Here’s a French word that I didn’t know, “betterave”, which I believe is “beetroot”. Huge, radish-like vegetables, sold with carrots, leek, and this thing called…”topinambour”, translating into “Jerusalem artichoke”. Seems like this is a lesson in French AND plant biology for me, as I didn’t even know this thing existed!
I liked this guy, who was offering to shuck oysters. “Quand ouvrir les huîtres devient un jeu d’enfant”…definitely not a child’s game when I eat oyster with my friends, as it always involves a fierce battle between the oyster knife (one which we broke) and the stubborn oyster. If only this guy were around when we were having our oysters, life would have been much simpler and we would have had two fewer injuries 😛
After the visit to the market, Stéphane took me to some wine-making regions adjacent to Libourne, including Fronsac and Pomerol. It was a very foggy morning, and visibility was severely reduced, but a view of the endless vineyards is still quite a spectacle, even in the fog.
One of the châteaux of the appellation of Pomerol – Château L’Évangile. Beautiful red buildings 🙂
And here is Château Figeac, making one of the most famous wines in the Saint-Émilion region. In the classification of Saint-Émilion wines, Figeac carries the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (Class B). According to Stéphane, you’d really have to know you’re getting the real “Figeac” instead of wines from other châteaux that also carry the name “Figeac” in their name. There’s only one real Château Figeac!
Before long, Stéphane had to head off, thereby ending our short but pleasant rendez-vous in Libourne and the nearby areas. I am grateful to have had the chance to meet Stéphane and I especially enjoyed Stéphane’s stories about food and France, which I believe are two of his passions. I would have absolutely loved to try Stéphane’s cooking, but unfortunately this time around we didn’t have the time. As he said, France is such a beautiful country and worth coming back over and over again, so maybe one day I will come back to visit. Until then, cheers!