Saturday, January 01, 2011

Lot: Figeac

Polar plinth

My return to the farm was subverted/diverted/perverted by an invitation to stay over in the Lot department near Figeac. I didn’t get to see a great deal of the town as we were caught between a long visit to the market to make up dinner for New Year’s Eve, and the fall of night. Munson was very distracted by the large number of cats wandering the streets. I got his attention back with the promise of a bag of bones from the market butchery.

The significance of the brightly lit display above was completely lost to me, and not easy to photograph when one hand is attached to a leash attached to a dog who’s attached to the idea of chasing the nearest street cat.

Musée Champollion

Figeac is the birthplace of Charles Boyer and of Jean-François Champollion, the first translator of the Rosetta Stone. Champollion’s work was fascinating to me as a boy, having encountered the story in Franklin Folsom’s book The Wonderful Story of Language (which I borrowed repeatedly from the local library, and finally found as a second-hand copy many years later). Next time I visit Figeac I’ll be sure to visit the museum devoted to his life and work.

Blessed are the cheesemakers  Cow juice vending machine 
Nougat tendreI missed the museum, but the local growers’ market attached to the GammVert store was like an archaeological dig for a foreigner, starting with the raw-milk vending machine outside. Jean mentioned seeing one of these in St-Gaudens, but we’ve yet to encounter one in the Gers. It’s pretty straightforward – you bring or purchase a container, put your money for the required volume and fill up from a spout – with a cowcophany of mooing to accompany the bubbling cow juice.

Inside there were slabs of fresh nougat that you could buy by the kilo, and local cheeses flagged with photographs of their makers.
Plenty of other goodies found both for tonight’s dinner and to stow away in the car.


1 comment:

  1. Ouff - nougat works out at AU$6.25 per 100g!! But I suppose the Camembert is tuppence un kilo and the Champagne 20 sou a gallon - so it's swings and roundabouts...