The food. No, I mean THE FOOD!

As you’ve seen in the previous pics, the area is fairly well farmed- mostly with vineyards, but there are also fantastic cheeses to be had (mostly from sheep and goats that run pretty much wild).  Since the area is so lightly populated, hunting also plays a big part in getting food to the table (watch out when riding off-tarmac in season).  Shellfish and seafood seem to keep fairly close to the coast, but are always easily available inland and wonderfully fresh.  The little local restaurants and markets make full use of this bounty and will keep you coming back for more, well after your waistline could use a break!

Speaking of restaurants, there is a treasure buried here.  L’Auberge du Vieux Puits is located in a tiny village, in the middle of nowhere.  The Auberge itself is quite nice (pool, etc), but the star is the restaurant run by the owner, Gilles Goujon.  It currently has two Michelin Stars and is supposedly gunning for a third.  This is most certainly a special occasion restaurant, though as a singleton in my less than stellar traveling clothes I was made to feel very welcome.  The tasting menu with paired wines was one of the best I’ve ever had; everything was locally sourced (Gilles even goes hunting for the restaurant!) and perfectly prepared- the rustic ingredients maintained their integrity, while the dishes still managed to be stylish and modern.  The wines were also carefully chosen and slightly more wide ranging  (though a Buzet was still as far away as I got!), with a Chardonnay from just south of Perpignan reenforcing the death of ‘Anything But Chardonnay’ in my mind.

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