Just as Normandy is known for its cows, the Perigôrd is famous for its ducks and geese. Though I don’t share the same love for ducks and geese as I do for cows, I’m just as enthusiastic about eating them, and our stay in Sarlat provided quite the opportunity. Whether in the form of fois gras, mousse, pate, confit, magret or liver, each restaurant and shop we visited offered some delicious dish at the expense of our feathered friends.
Since almost all of the duck and/or goose dishes we had in Sarlat were absolutely fantastic, it’s easier for me to walk through a typical Perigord menu than to choose a best dish. For the entrées (appetizers), most Perigôrd restaurants give you a choice between toast with fois gras, sometimes accompanied by a light side salad, and an omelet with cèpes, a type of savory mushroom indigenous to the region. Now, the fois gras entrée comes in many other forms as well; while each restaurant presents its own slight variation- a bloc with walnut toast, a sliver on baguette, a slightly diluted goose liver pâté- almost all present some combination of fois gras, bread, and salad. Next, for the plats (main dishes), the typical Sarlat restaurant would offer a choice between a large bloc of fois gras with goat cheese salad, some fairly standard fish dish, and one of several permutations of duck. The two most common were confit, a type of preserved duck breast, and magret, a roasted duck breast sliced into medallions. Both were often served with roasted potatoes with herbs and either an orange or truffle sauce. Other servings of duck were also common- a pan-fried duck liver with peach sauce was one of the best dishes I had in Sarlat. Lastly, for the dessert, you would often find a choice between walnut cake (seeing as walnuts are another regional specialty), ice cream, and profiteroles.