Quercy melons are one of the joys of summer

This duck and half a melon salad was served at the Relais du Paysan in Carlux, between Sarlat and Souillac.

This duck and half a melon salad was served at the Relais du Paysan in Carlux, between Sarlat and Souillac.

All over South-West France summer gives you a chance to buy ripe melons in local markets, but Quercy melons (Quercy is the old name for the Lot department) really are the best – sweet, juicy and bags of flavour! This salad was served in a farm restaurant at Carlux, between Sarlat and Souillac. The duck and the melon were both home-grown.

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Local market produce

Spring produce - yum!

One of the joys of visiting in Springtime is the fresh produce on sale in local markets as the winter chills fade and the warmth of the sun ripens vegetables and fruit. At a stall in the St Julien de Lampon market for a few euros we purchased plump, succulent asparagus grown a few kilometres away along the Dordogne Valley. It had been harvested that morning and was in peak condition. It made for a great freshly cooked lunch served with a light vinaigrette and fresh crusty bread! Strawberries are another speciality of the region and the different varieties, flavour and quality of the fruit are spectacular.