I’m forever bemoaning the partisan nature of the French psyche, particularly when it comes to regional cuisine. You’ll struggle to locate a raclette outside of the Haute Savoie, cassoulet rarely features on a menu far from the Gers and the delicious Confit de Canard that we take for granted here is absent from the menus of Brittany. It’s fine for the tourists who immerse themselves in duck fat for a week then move on but it’s shame that the best of all regional cuisine doesn’t travel just a little further. The same problem extends to the wine shelves in the local supermarkets and wine merchants. We have aisle upon aisle of Bordeaux blends but try to find a decent selection of white Burgundy and you’re limited to a mighty fine Montrachet at sixty Euros and perhaps an entry level Chablis but that’s your lot. There’s literally just ONE label from New Zealand, Chili and California respectively.
We found the funniest example of how far this regional view extends in the cupboard of our camper van. We bought the camper locally of course. The previous owners had cut some handy holes in the work top to accommodate a few wine bottles without them falling in transit. The system works very well just as long as you stick to the long narrow Bordeaux bottles. Try and take a wide bodied bottle from Cotes du Rhone on holiday and it won’t fit the hole. Pah! Gallic shrug, “But why would you?”