What strawberries? White strawberries!

Yesterday we had a lovely lunch at home, complete with a bottle of Champagne, for our 23rd wedding anniversary. But today was “the” celebratory lunch — because Le Petit Paris in Daglan serves Sunday lunch, but not Saturday lunch. So we left our home just at 1 p.m., had a leisurely walk to the restaurant, and by 1:02 we were seated and ready to order.

First, the delicious aperitif made with Champagne, Mandarin Napoleon and orgeat syrup. Then my wife Jan and I each started with white asparagus, served with a small mason jar of perfect Hollandaise sauce, like this:

Appetizer

White asparagus as our entrée.

For her  plat principal, Jan chose the breast of duck, “lacquered” with maple syrup, and served with a potato purée, which looked like this:

Duck breast

Duck breast served with a purée of potatoes.

As for me, I couldn’t resist the sweetbreads that were sautéed, served with a brown sauce, topped with a scattering of sliced truffles, and accompanied by a wedge of toast that was loaded with shavings of foie gras. I didn’t flinch at the 9-euro supplement, and it turned out to be as delicious (and rich) as it looks:

Sweetbreads

Sweetbreads, truffles and foie gras: Triple treat!

The real surprise was in our desserts, however — white strawberries. I had never heard of them until today, but did some online searching when I returned home. It turns out that they are also called pineberries, and originated in South America as a wild variety of strawberry. The plants were evidently almost extinct before they began to be raised commercially.

As for the berries themselves, they are truly white, although their seeds are red. At Le Petit Paris, they were served in glass bowls on a bed of stewed rhubarb, topped with a pistachio cream and a ball of incredibly rich ice cream, not to mention some cookie crumbles and whipped cream. (The theory: You can never have too much of a good thing. Or many good things.) In the photo below, the (normal) red strawberry is on top of the dessert as decoration, while my spoon is holding half a white strawberry:

Dessert

Our white strawberry desserts at Le Petit Paris.

Later, just to get a bit of air, we mounted our bikes and headed off to Bouzic, the neighbouring village where a tournament of pétanque (or boules) was taking place. It was a nice, leisurely way to end a great weekend.

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This entry was posted in Bicycling in the Dordogne, French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What strawberries? White strawberries!

  1. foodtable says:

    Everything looked delicious. I don’t think I have ever had white strawberries before. Now I have to look for them here.

    • Loren says:

      Hi Foodtable, The best article I found online on the white strawberries was in The Telegraph (London); I believe some berries had just arrived at Waitrose (the retail chain) for sale. I also some brief articles suggesting that the plants are available in select nurseries.

      • foodtable says:

        Thanks Loren. I will check our local farmer’s market and see if they have anything closer to home. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. Sharon says:

    Loren, Dan and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary on May 26. I regret to say, we didn’t have such a lovely lunch as you had! I was quite busy preparing for the party to celebrate Dan’s 60th birthday on Friday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. And (as you might have seen on my Facebook page) Dan’s Mom passed away at 2 p.m. There was no way to uninvite our guests so we had Dan’s birthday party sans Dan. I suppose it could have been awful but in fact, it was quite a nice party. People were lovely.

    Anyway, happy anniversary!

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