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 Franceâ€™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 fÃªte de la fraise. The timing of these fÃªtes are obviously determined by the fruit, so the month of May in the Dordogne should be kept mind in any Europe travel planning.
Three fÃªtes 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.