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You know you are in France when you visit an entire village celebrating strawberries. The French have an intimate relationship with their countryside and many food events take place throughout the year. Intertwined in the production of food is a culture of acknowledging local producers that farm the land and the crops that result. In the Dordogne Valley, local producers are varied and many. To celebrate the fruits of their labour, village fetes (festivals) take place for key regional products from walnuts to truffles.
For over 25 years, every second Sunday in May, the beautiful village of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne is taken over with strawberry mania. Drenched in spring sunshine you will find stalls of local producers selling delicious ripe strawberries in punnets freshly transported from local fields. You can go berry mad as every café and restaurant joins in the fun with just about any combination of strawberry concoction you can think of from traditional strawberry cakes to Haute Cuisine with a strawberry flourish, served every which way.
Dordogne Valley Guinness World Records
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne is also on the world record map. A village highlight, look out for the giant strawberry tart, made every year – 8 metres in diameter and weighing a mighty 700kg. In 1990, it took the biscuit and won the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest strawberry tart.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the strawberry festival in 2017, the village of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne entered a new record breaking creation. The winning Guinness World Record entry was for the world’s longest fraisier pâtissier (French strawberry cake). At a whopping 30metres long it consisted of layers of cream, sponge cake and over 250kg of strawberries.
You can be assured that each year, another Guinness World Record attempt will be made and if you are feeling peckish, from 4pm you can buy a slice.
A Berry good time
Throughout the village, let the kids be entertained by stilt-walkers, buskers and the various music bands that are spread throughout the town and performing throughout the day. Take the time to explore Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne itself, as you laze away the afternoon in a café next to the river, or take a short trip on the water in a local Gabare boat.
Strawberry Fields forever
If you miss this strawberry festival you can still buy this delicious local delicacy at traditional markets in July and August throughout the Dordogne Valley. In the producing heart of villages in and around Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne throughout the summer months:
- Beynat (Tuesdays)
- Monceaux-sur-Dordogne (Thursdays)
- Saillac (Fridays)
- Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne – (Mondays)
Look out also for signs as you are driving in the Dordogne Valley (Fraises), where you can buy directly from the growers’ farms.