Wherever we travel, HOB and I try the local specialties. I can tell you the reason is because it’s a great way to participate in the culture, which is true. Also, it makes local people happy–we’ve had people gather around us in approval when we’ve sought out an unusual regional delicacy at a shop or market. But really, we do this because we are gigantic chowhounds greedy for great food and new taste experiences.
We tried two versions of farci poitven, a specialty of the Poitou-Charentes region of France, one from the market at Poitiers and another from a deli in Chauvigny. We had one hot and the other cold, since it could be served either way–I preferred it hot. Think green pâté: it has that gamey fatty pâté feeling going on, but with a green vegetable taste. For sure the base flavor was cabbage, with maybe chard or spinach or some other strong greens and probably eggs. Yum! Savory and decadent at the same time. I want more.
And for dessert: tourteau fromager de chevre. I’ve been waiting all my life to find the proper use for “ambrosial” and that cake from Poitiers market was it: burnt on top, crisp on the outside, both creamy like cheesecake, and airy like an angel food cake, but with a funk to it, from the goat cheese. A second tourteau fromager de chevre, purchased from a bakery in Chauvigny, was merely very good.
Note we didn’t go to a restaurant for these foods (in fact, I doubt that farci poitevin is even available at a restaurant) and that the tastiest were from the market. Markets are always the best for the freshest, most ambrosial, local treats.