Amanda on March 12th, 2011
gariguette strawberries

Gariguette Strawberries

Glorious sunshine gilds the drab landscape as spring finally makes her debut.


In the forest glades dark carpets of leaves are punctuated by a scattering of violets, like a stolen hoard of amethysts, hurriedly discarded. And every now and then the paler daisy-shaped jewel of an anemone blanda, so charming, so delicate and as tough as old tree roots. Overhead the first green has begun to appear, long lines of chartreuse willow and tangles of hawthorn and honeysuckle, complemented perfectly by a froth of blossom from the early blushing brides, wild cherry, almond and blackthorn. A triple wedding – a promise of good times to come.

Down in the market everything had changed. The last of the winter vegetables stepped back and the spring beauties flounced into the limelight. Read More »

Spring In The Quercy from French Life

Amanda on June 9th, 2010


Warm breezes caress my bare shoulders as I sit on the terrace amongst my lemon trees.  Despite their diminutive size, the amazing scent of their blossom is almost overwhelming.  At the bottom of the garden I can hear the first of the season’s cicadas screaming – the heralds of hot weather – and I sigh in contentment.  Nowhere is summer more seductive than in the Quercy.
Down in the markets the early summer fruits are rolling in.  Prayssac was awash with cherries this morning, huge black Burlats, tart and exciting, laid in vast piles on the wooden tables, the dusky scarlet Bigareaux just beginning to nudge them out.  They are late this year and before long will be replaced by the honey-sweet, fuzzy golden globes of the early apricots, and everywhere the fragrant aroma of the Garriguette strawberry. Read More »

Warm June In The Quercy from French Life

Amanda on April 1st, 2008
Gariguette strawberries

Gariguette strawberries

The sweet smell of a thousand fragrant Gariguette strawberries lured me round Cahors market last Wednesday. The day was warm, the sky a cloudless blue and the stalwart stallholders were in carnival mood. Asparagus assailed me as I entered the fray at the southern end; huge bunches of creamy green, brushed with purple. Just the thing for a light supper, dripping with melted butter and accompanied by some good bread and a nice jug of Cahors. I glanced at the early peaches, transported overnight from the glasshouses of Andalucia, but the rising scent of strawberries was becoming insistent. Rounding the corner, where one of my jovial stallholder friends was holding his weekly pantomime with leeks and cauliflowers, I was mesmerised by a sea of scarlet. Read More »

The Lure of Gariguette Strawberries from French Life

Amanda on May 7th, 2006
French Strawberry Tarts

French Strawberry Tarts

Barquettes de Fraises
April in southern France is a gastronomic feast.
The markets overflow with the luscious new vegetables and fruits of spring. Foremost amongst these are asparagus and strawberries, the perfect beginning and end to any spring dinner party.
Since the only way to eat new asparagus is plainly cooked with melted butter or hollandaise, I thought I would show you this pretty way of serving the deliciously sweet fraises des bois, which are in season right now.

Makes 10 to 12. Read More »

French Strawberry Tart Recipe from French Life