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Mende, a country for food lovers

Culinary specialties of Lozère

Known for the quality of its meats, the variety of its cheeses and for its traditional charcuterie, La Lozère, a mountain country, has many regional specialties and recipes.

We offer you on this page, some examples of products among the most appreciated by gourmets.

 

Plateau de fromagesPlateau de fromages
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The cheeses

5 Guaranteed Origins

La Lozère alone has five five “Appellations Contrôlées” (=quality labels) on cheeses.
Suffice to say that the know-how is very present in this territory.
The concern for the well-done work always holds a preponderant place for the breeders and cheese makers of the Lozère.
Thus, cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk is used in the preparation of these cheeses with a well-defined taste.

Le Laguiole :

Its terroir extends over 60 communes of Aubrac, with vast expanses of grass (Aveyron, Lozère & Cantal).
The dough of this cheese is pressed, smooth and the color is straw yellow.
It is the fresult of a maturing period of 3 and 12 months.

Le Bleu d’Auvergne is a cheese from the French central massif.
It is therefore logical that its production area also extends over the north of Lozère, in the heart of this territory.
Made from cow’s milk, its blue-veined dough is firm and creamy with a very pronounced smell that it acquires from four weeks of ripening.

This cheese has an intense and balanced taste, with the typical aroma of blue.

Le Roquefort :

The southwest of Lozère is part of the AOC zone of Roquefort.
Creamy and well bound dough, veined with blue or green, it gives off a very particular bouquet and with a fine and pronounced flavor.

Roquefort is one of the most famous French cheeses outside our borders.

Le Bleu des Causses akes its name from the area where it is made: the Grands Causses.

Made from cow’s milk, it is refined in a natural cellar.
Its consistency, creaminess and greatness, with a strong smell, gives it a pronounced and unique character.

Le Pélardon, often called: Pélardon des Cévennes, is a cheese made from raw goat’s milk.
It has a powerful or floral smell and leaves you, when young, with a very pleasant nutty taste in the mouth. This, thanks to its unctuous and creamy texture.

It is the emblematic cheese of the Cévennes.

There are many other types of cheese in Lozère, such as the many Tommes de Lozère (cow and sheep).

Among this great diversity, Fédou is a cheese exclusively from Causse Méjean, made from Lacaune sheep’s milk and matured during 3 or 4 days.
It is considered a soft and flowery cheese.

Deli meats

La "Charcuterie"

La charcuterie = delicatessen:

It honors the know-how of this region because a multitude of products come from it, each as tasty and hearty as the other.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of charcuterie specialties from our terroir …

Le Fricandeau is a typical dish from Lozère and the South of the French central massif.

Composed of a mixture of lean, fat and pork offal in varying proportions according to family traditions, it is cooked in the strainer of the pork, which gives it a special flavor.
It can be served hot but can also be eaten cold, accompanied by small vegetables (onions, gherkins), or even served with a salad and accompanied by a good country bread and a red wine (to be consumed in moderation).

La saucisse d’herbe = The grass sausage varies according to the geographical area of Lozère.
We often add cabbage (northern half of the department), potatoes, bread (Randon country) or even chard (Lot Valley, Causses and Cévennes).
The proportion of vegetables is at least 1/3 of the sausage and often more.
The sausage meat is exclusively made with fat and lean pork, excluding any offal.
The casing is natural as well as seasonings (salt, pepper, spices), no colouring or adjuvant.
Boiled or grilled, it is one of the specialties of the family Lozerian charcuterie, the only traditional preparation that has been combining vegetable and pork for centuries.

La saucisse sèche Lozérienne :
Lozérienne dry sausage is composed exclusively of pure pork meat.
The casings are natural.
The meats are sorted, selected and denervated by hand.

Lozerian Dry Sausage is not a simple variant of the sausage.
Each butcher has his own know-how, his own recipe, and each develops a product with a different taste.
Like sausage, Lozère dry sausage can be eaten more or less refined, rather supple or very dense, and can be kept for a long time.
Traditionally dried continuously, wrapped around wooden poles it is sold most often by fold, but it is up to you to ask for several “back and forth”. In “troç” (occitan=piece) or thin slices,  everyone will consume it according to their tas

Le jambon sec de Lozère :

Salting is done with dry salt, rubbed by hand.
Drying is done in the open air.
Its preparation excludes saltpetre and dye.
You can accommodate Lozère Dry Ham in many ways.
Its frank flavor will make you rediscover the classic “melon with ham” and the “butter ham” sandwich.
Consume it quickly after slicing, you will get even more pleasure because the dry ham of Lozère is a delicate product.

Lozère is a land of altitude hat favors the drying and the refining of the charcuterie.
The know-how of salting has naturally developed here more than elsewhere and every craftsman, every family that still processes the pig, brings his personal touch according to his tastes but also the tradition that has been transmitted in each region and in each family of the Lozère …
Nevertheless … it would be necessary to say a few words about the different pâtés, rosettes, boudins, …

The "Croquant de Mende"

a centuries-old tradition

The Mendois pastry craftsmen have developed for many decades, a know-how that they pass on from generation to generation: The artisanal manufacture of the crunchy, le croquant.
A small, dry, elongated cake, it is enriched with almonds from the almond trees of the Tarn Gorges and hazelnuts once picked in the hedges of the Margeride and the Lot valley.
A delicacy made exclusively in the city, Mende’s Croquant, cut with a knife before cooking can be a little supple or very dry depending on the recipe.
It can be kept for a very long time protected from humidity and moisture and can travel very far…

"Terroir" recipes

Lozère is a mountain country.

This is the French central massif!
The country’s dishes are made from simple products from local agriculture and livestock farming.
They were originally cookedto hold on to the body in a country where living conditions were not the most clement.

Here as elsewhere, the recipes resemble the country that saw them born.

Have a good time!

Aligot recipe: (Aubrac):

Prepare a mash with 1 kg of potatoes.

Add 100g of butter and 250g of fresh cream to this puree.

Season with salt, pepper and garlic.

Add to the mash, which must be hot, 400 g of fresh tome for aligot, cut into strips, stir vigorously as you go with a wooden spatula.

When the mixture is stringy, the aligot is cooked.

PAY ATTENTION!! Held too long on fire, the wire breaks…

La truffade :

Ingredients for 4 people: 1 kg of firm potatoes – 150 g of smoked bacon – 2 cloves of peeled garlic degermated and chopped – 400 g of fresh tomme -parsley.

Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into regular slices and not too thick.
Cook them for about 15 minutes in a large frying pan with bacon bits and a large knob of butter. Stir regularly.
When the potatoes are practically cooked and golden, add the minced garlic, mix.
Then add the fresh tomme in thin slices. The cheese will melt and mix with the potatoes to form a melting patty.

The recipe of the “Manouls”:

Lozerian speciality close to the tripoux, which are prepared from beef or veal casings, the “manouls” are sheep tripe cooked as follows:

Ingredients: tripe and belly of a sheep – veal strawberry – salted breast – country ham bone! –  1 beautiful onion – carrots – white local wine – cloves – bouquet garni – salt, pepper – fine casing (or kitchen string).

Wash the guts, belly and ruff thoroughly. If you fear this type of manipulation, ask your butcher.

Cut 6 cm wide discs in the belly. Slice the slivers of the belly, the guts and the calf’s ruff . Cut them into small pieces, adding a little bit of diced salted breast. Salt, pepper and mix well.

Place an equal amount of the stuffing on each disc and fold down the edges to sew or tie them together (take a thin hose instead).

Meanwhile, prepare a casserole dish with the bottom topped with sliced carrots, ham bone, clove-studded onion and bouquet garni.

After having salted and peppered the bottom garnished, place in this casserole the “manouls”, cover with white wine and water (half/half) and bring to the heat. Simmer gently for 7 hours, watching the cooking.

Serve very hot.

Traditionally, the “manouls” cooked slowly during the night and were eaten in the morning as a breakfast.

The name “manouls” means “small hands” (handcuffs). It comes from the piece of belly that is cut and which must be the size of a child’s hand.

The “Pouteille” recipe (La Canourgue):

It consists of pork legs and beef cooked in a wine sauce.
It was formerly made on Sundays and holidays, by each family who then carried it to the baker’s oven in a “toupi” (earthen dish) to let it cook for several hours over low heat.

Ingrédients

. 800 grams braising beef
. 6 half pig trotters
. 1 carrot
. 2 onions
. 1 tablespoon of flour
. 1 liter of red wine
. 1 kilogram of potatoes
. 3 cloves of garlic
. thyme, bay leaf
. 3 tablespoons of olive oil
. salt pepper

Cooking
– Cut the beef into small cubes.
– Desalt, split and share the pig’s trotters.
– In a casserole dish, brown the cut beef without browning it.
– Add the chopped onions, pig’s feet, garlic.
– Add the carrot.
– Brown with flour.
– Add the wine to the preparation.
– The sauce must be thin and liquid.
– Add the thyme and the bay leaf.
– Season with salt and pepper.
– Cook for 1 hour, then add the potatoes.
– Let simmer for 2 hours.
– Adjust seasoning.

The bag of bones:

Ingredients: 1 pork belly – 1.5 kg of flat bones (chops, rib, sternum) with more or less meat, depending on taste and recipe – 0.5 kg of rind – garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, coarse salt.
optional: 1 pigtail – 1 ear – 1 piece of pork loin – cloves.

Scrape the pork belly (inside and outside). Clean it with vinegar and an onion.
Garnish the belly with the bones and the rinds cut into small cubes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Mix all the ingredients.
Sew the belly and rub with coarse salt over the entire surface of the stomach.
Leave to dry in a cool place (and ventilated if possible) for 2/3 days and let rest between 2 and 4 days before cooking or freezing it.
Desalt the bag of bones for 48 hours before cooking. Wrap the belly in a cloth for cooking over low heat (3 to 4 hours in water). Some take advantage of the cooking to cook vegetables in the Casserole like a stew.
Serve hot with the accompaniment of your choice.

The “Coupetade” or “Coupétado” :

Place prunes and grapes at the bottom of a dish.
Cover with the slices of dry bread, reserving two centimeters of false neck.
Beat the milk with the eggs, sugar and vanilla, then, when this cream is well homogeneous, pour it over the slices, pressing down with one or two forks. All the bread must be covered!
Mettez à cuire au four (thermostat 5, 180-200°), Bake in the oven (thermostat 5, 180-200°), a little less than an hour.
The Coupétade will be perfect as soon as it is well inflated and golden.
Serve warm or cold, topped with caramel, dandelion flower jelly, jam, whipped cream.

 

Ingredients for 4 persons:
– 3 eggs
– 4 nice slices of dry bread
– 8 sugar cubes
– 8 suave prunes
– 20 raisins
– vanilla.

Our specialities