The land in much of the Medoc region is not suitable for growing any crop besides “stressed” grapes which are perfect for wine-making. However, l’agneau de Pauillac (Pauillac lamb) is a regional specialty that is not to be missed! This lamb is fed from its mother’s milk for at least the first 75 days of its life. It is interesting that an animal being nursed by its mother is so incredible in 2010. Food commercialization has truly led us father and father away from what is natural.
I had the pleasure of trying this–even though I am not a big meat eater. The meat is traditionally eaten rare, but I have a weak stomach, so I asked for it “tres bien cuit” (very well done). Of course, this translated into something with much too pink, so I had to send it back! I was so embarrassed, but I wanted to enjoy it, and I don’t enjoy meat that is not thoroughly cooked. Despite it being “very well done,” it was truly delicious! Melted in my mouth–with a slight hazelnut flavor. Make sure you enjoy this with a glass of Pauillac wine!
Another regional specialty is the tiny gray shrimp from the Eustache. They are each no longer than one inch long! Forget trying to peel the shell. Some people eat the entire little shrimpette, while others break the head off before popping the rest into their mouth. Being a Louisiana native (and no stranger to peeling shrimp), I attempted to peel the soft shell off of the tiny shrimp. I was rather unsuccessful–it is simply too small to peel without losing all of the meat! The taste was rather salty and not altogether unpleasant.
When pairing wine and food, remember this simple adage: If it grows together, it goes together.