Lamb Cutlet festival – Another example of the French passion for their food, the villages in the high Pyrenees celebrate the return of the local sheep and shepherds from the high summer pasture so that Autumn and Winter can be spent in the lower level sheltered valleys (transhumance).

Luz Saint SauveurThe “Foire aux Côtelettes” (Lamb Cutlet Festival) takes place on 27 – 29 September 2019 in Luz Saint Sauveur (65 Hautes-Pyrennes, Occitanie) and includes a party with local barbecued lamb chops, cheese tasting, music, cattle market, sheep shearing and the inevitable market. The festivities finish late at night with the sounds of a banda and dancing.

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Generally too high for vines, the area does however produce good Pyrenean cheeses – often sheeps milk cheeses which are semi-hard and a little lighter on the palate – such as Ossau Fermier and Brébis Pyrénées. The nearest wines are those from Irouleguy and Madiran which are big meaty reds; dry aromatic whites from Jurancon, and sweet wines from Jurancon and Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh.

This is the area of the Pyrennees which is particularly well-known for the epic mountain climbs in cycling’s Tour de France in July each year, such as the Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden!


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