The Spekko France Trip
Market Day In Boussac (Day 5)
Shopping for lunch at the weekly market in Boussac beats shopping any day in Woollies. “Saussicons, jambon, freshly baked “pains” such as still warm apricot and walnut sourdough loaves, fresh pears and just picked heirloom tomatoes vie for the attention with goat, sheep and cow cheeses. Organic butchers sell duck, Charolaise and Limousine beef; pork products and quail.
There are towers of scented soaps from the area inclusive of milk, vetiver, honey, lavender and cinnamon.
A refreshing wine at the local bar turns out to be good fun when the garlic seller from across the road hurries over to by us a duo of “vin du pays blanc”.
Back at Le Creuzette Hardy Olivier prepares a lunch enticingly called a harvest table. On the menu: a pork and a chicken terrine; the fresh apricot and walnut sourdough loaf; a crawfish sauce on squid ink spaghetti and fried gnocchi with parmesan. A Caprese salad with mozzarella balloons inflated with garlic air accompanies the meal.
In France lunch and dinner is set over at least three to four courses, with aperitifs, white, rose and red wines, starters, entrees, a cheese course and then dessert served with a cognac or Armagnac and coffee.
The afternoon goes by in a haze of history with a visit to the Boussac Castle dating from the 12th and 15th century, where Lucien and Bernadette Blondeau lives. The pair bought Boussac Castle in the sixties for 1 Euro and has since been restoring the buildings. Living in only a few of the rooms, the couple use the rest of the space to exhibit their collection of valuable antiques, priceless tapestries and paintings.
At 6 pm the Spekko guests embark for the opening of an exhibition of Louis Janse van Vuuren’s art at Deirdre Winer’s art gallery. Deirdre is one of the South Africans who fell in love with Boussac, bought a house and set up a business there.
The mayor does the honours of opening the exhibition where Louis reveals a preview of his new “peonies” series which will form the bulk of a show later this year in Dubai.
As with every occasion in Boussac, the guests have champagne, then a choice of wines. A “pain surprise” from the boulangerie serves as snacks. This is a hollowed out round sourdough loaf filled with layers of sandwiches with different fillings.
The evening ends on a high note with a meal at the Michelin starred restaurant La Goutte Noir in Chateaumeilliant. Winemaker Farbize discusses the local wines which he grow on some 100 hectare in the area.
This is what Chef Christoph Boudeau served:
- An appetiser of cheese straws, vegetables of the region and a “soupcon of legume soup”.
- A 2nd course of nougat of veal topped with pressed foie gras.
- A “Papillion” of salmon, vegetables and scallop followed.
- A palate cleanser of apricot and prune sorbet supplemented by a glass of port.
- Then a stuffed capon with a honey sauce.
- Unpasteurised cheeses from the area.
- Lastly a chocolate dessert paired with a red wine.