Our summer holiday in the delightful area of Bassin d’Arcachon gave us a chance to discover the celebrated Bordeaux region of France. When it comes to gastronomy, this is a province that makes French people proud of their cuisine and tradition, while Bordeaux wines need no introduction. As we explored it was hard not to fall under the charms of the beautiful landscape dotted with hilly vineyards.
The green scenery is dotted with dazzling sunflower fields. Completely spellbound, we intentionally lost ourselves amongst the tiniest of roads, only to be disturbed by the occasional “are we there yet?” of impatient kids.
The destination of our day trip was the sleepy town of Sadirac, around 9 miles from Bordeaux, home to “Oh Légumes Oubliés” a family farm dedicated to sustainability and created in the mid-seventies by Bernard Lafon.
“Oh Légumes Oubliés” (in English “The Forgotten Vegetables”) is a unique and thriving place dedicated to heirloom vegetables. The vegetable patch acts as a nursery for many vegetable species that have either almost or entirely disappeared from our plates.
Upon our arrival, we were given an information folder to take around the garden and vegetable patch. We witnessed a fascinating array of forgotten fruits, cereals and vegetables bursting with variety and flavour.
We not only found sorghum, amaranth, millet but also unusual shapes and shades of potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines etc..
I was very surprised to see so many different shaped and coloured aubergines ranging from white to deep purple.
The kids got particularly excited about the blue tomatoes and the giant gourds.
Our stroll was interrupted by the afternoon snack, a free tasting of the farm produce. We gathered inside, where our host introduced us to the farm’s jams, jellies, pâtés and drinks.
All organic and designed to bring back some near forgotten flavours such as elderberry, nettle, medlar, rosehip etc…
The kids fell in love with rosehip jam aptly named “Confiture Gratte Cul” (Itchy Bottom Jam). They both really enjoyed hearing about my childhood trick of putting the coarse hair contained inside rosehips down other kids’ shirts. Yes it does itch!
After trying out the farm produce we went through conservatory orchards dedicated to food bio-diversity. A maze also retraces the history of food from its early domestication to future challenges.
Of course, no visit to Oh Légumes Oubliés would be complete without a stop by the aurochs which, in case you are wondering, are completely unrelated to Game of Thrones! 🙂
Aurochs are the ancestors of domestic cattle, often pictured in cave paintings. Roaming around since prehistoric times, they became extinct in 1627. In 1930 the German Heck brothers decided to bring the aurochs back through genetics and clever breeding of selected bovine races.
A true wildlife success story, “reconstituted” aurochs are now back in Europe and a small herd can be seen happily grazing the grounds of Oh Légumes Oubliés.
We really enjoyed our afternoon learning about heirloom vegetables, aurochs and biodiversity. The farm of Oh Légumes Oubliés is a great family outing where adults and kids can enjoy exploring unique surroundings while discussing food and the importance of sustainability.
We are currently eating our way through the sizeable amount of goodies we took back home. The “Itchy Bottom” jam gets the kids cracking up every time!
“Oh! Légumes Oubliés” – Musée & Labyrinthe Gourmands – Château de Belloc – 33670 SADIRAC – France