In the sunshine, the gardens, orchards and vineyards extend outwards between the sea and the mountains, and produce fruit and vegetables synonymous with well-being and healthy eating.
Aubrac beef and Camargue bull gardiane, Carcassonne or Castelnaudary cassoulet and tapenade, cheerful wines and sparkling or natural still water, sweet melons and Cévennes onions… there are so much varied and original produce offered by Languedoc-Roussillon. This sun-drenched land, made from plains, mountains, valleys, small rivers and sandy beaches, allows you to discover a whole range of subtle flavours.
The journey gets under way at Aigues-Mortes in the Gard region. The ruins of the battlement built by the son of St. Louis reflect in the red, saline waters. White salt hillocks, the camelles, stand on the river banks. This salt is known under the brand name “La Baleine”. Slightly further towards the Rhone, there are flamingos flying over the paddy fields. Flooded plains stretch across the horizon into the Camargue, which is the main production area for French rice.
After Nîmes, the winding road meanders between the chestnut trees. A heard of goats climb the slopes over the yellowed moors. On this land in the Cévennes region between Gard and Lozère, over a hundred farmers produce the famous pélardon cheese – a small all-round and creamy goat’s cheese which has gained wide recognition through a protected designation of origin (AOP). The Pic Saint Loup looms beyond the terraced fields and orchards. A land of scrub woodland with its aromatic herbs, silvery olive trees, and the first vines of the largest and oldest winery region in the world.
Winemakers join forces with fruit and vegetable growers and tree specialists, from the banks of the Rhone to the vast Roussillon plain. The traditional irrigation network of the Catalan region, just like the bold channel of the Lower Rhone, has transformed the region into the “Garden of the south”. In the green valley of the Têt, there are sweet and tasty peaches, and the yellow and orange coloured apricots from Roussillon illuminate the orchards. In Céret, the market stalls are full of cherries in springtime. Final stage: Aude. With its honey, its Lauragais capons, its white coco beans – among the main ingredients in Limoux fricassée as well as in the famous cassoulet. The Aude department also reflects the diversity of the regional food industries.
Sea bass, sea bream, sole, turbot, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, whiting… along with oysters from the Thau lagoon or from Leucate, open sea mussels and clams from across the entire 220 km of coastline, where the Mediterranean offers a huge selection of fish, shellfish and crustaceans.