Strawberry Festivals in the Dordogne

For so many different reasons the Dordogne region of France could easily claim to be one of the best places to visit in Europe. It certainly is one of the most popular. Given this area has some of the most spectacular prehistoric art in the world, justifiably perhaps it boasts itself as being the prehistory capital of the world. But this region is internationally renowned for its traditional French cuisine.

The Dordogne is also well known for its strawberries; the earliest documented mention being as far back as 1895. This area is said to be particularly good for strawberry growing because of the high concentration of lime in the soil, and of course the great climate. It is in the limestone caves that the prehistoric paintings are to be found. About a quarter of France’s strawberries are grown in this area.

And just as this area makes the most of its prehistoric heritage to attract holidaymakers, so too a number of Dordogne towns and villages host their own fête de la fraise. The timing of these fêtes are obviously determined by the fruit, so the month of May in the Dordogne should be kept mind in any Europe travel planning.

strawberry tart

Three fêtes of note are in the towns of Vergt, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne and Marmande. Of the three, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne claims to have created the world’s biggest strawberry tart (photograph below). These French food festivals attract thousands of visitors, all for a piece of the strawberry pie! Last year the tart in Vergt measured 4m across and used 240kg of strawberries, which were arranged in segments that represented fruit from different local areas. Of course the connoisseurs believe they can taste the difference in the strawberries from the different areas. Only one thing missing then – 150 litres of cream.

This entry was posted in France on by .

About Thomas Dowson

Hello, I am Thomas Dowson - a freelance writer and archaeologist living in Normandy, France. My field of expertise is prehistoric art - such as the cave paintings in the Dordogne and South Africa. But I am becoming passionately interested in France more generally, and Normandy in particular, and what this country and one of its very well known regions has to offer people with all sorts of tastes and desires. In 2005 I exchanged a university archaeology lecture room for a Bed & Breakfast in Normandy. More recently I started the Archaeology Travel website; sharing my expertise and love of archaeology and travel with others who also want to explore the many different pasts around the World.