16110393_sFor a trip off the beaten path, we recommend a France Food Tour to Southwestern France: the Midi-Pyrenees. The Pyrenees Mountains form the border between France and Spain, and it is a region known for beautiful scenery and beautiful food. Let the city of Toulouse be your home base as you explore the many delights of this region!

In the Midi-Pyrenees, you will find magnificent architecture, medieval villages, river valleys, rolling farmlands, and fabulous food. Stay the night at the Hotel des Beaux-Arts and visit the Marche Victor Huge, a huge outdoor market in Toulouse, before heading deep into the countryside.

Farmers in the Pyrenees mountains cultivate herds of sheep, pigs, and cattle, so a wide variety of meats and cheeses are available. Cassoulet, a traditional French dish, takes a local flavor with pork sausage or duck confit. Enjoy this hearty meat-and bean stew with a glass (or two) of local red wine. This is the famed Bordeaux wine region, famous for its dark burgundies.

There are many Michelin star restaurants in Toulouse, which is accessible by air, rail, and car. The viamichelin website offers lists of restaurants to help you narrow your search. Other locally produced ingredients include: truffles and walnut oil, red peppers and tomatoes, and a specialty called aligot. Aligot is a a blend of Aveyron cheese and potato puree. The sweet specialty of the region is crustade aux pommes, a type of apple (or plum) tart.

Some other highlights in the French Pyrenees include bike races (the Tour de France races various courses through these mountains) and the spiritual mystique of Lourdes. Many Catholics make pilgrimage to Lourdes, where the Lady of Lourdes is supposed to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. As a tourist destination, Lourdes boasts many fine hotels and restaurants.

French-born chef Aurelie Brown offers tours of the region called “A Foodie’s Trip to France.”  You’ll experience the culture and the cuisine, interacting with local merchants and residents. These week-long tours include culinary classes and lots of time spent exploring.

We can help serious foodies set up a memorable trip to the beautiful French mountains, so contact us today to schedule your trip to the Midi-Pyrenees!