Every Spring, a visit to an Asparagus farm is practically obligatoire for Karen and I. There are many dotted around the Dordogne valley, inevitably they're beautiful places that have been in families for generations and a rendevous is almost Le Sacre du Printemps, a true rite of Spring.
This is Monsieur Leopold Mazere who, as he put it, has lived here at the farm for seventy years and some. I think he was slightly bemused when myself and Karen, together with her Mum parked up, jumped out of the car and proceeded to take photos and swap pleasantries in quick succession yesterday afternoon, disturbing the peace after a long alfreso lunch.
The spears are graded into premier and deuxieme choix, the first choice being the fattest most perfectly formed. We bought two kilos of second choice as the plan was to make penne pasta with asparagus, simply the peeled and cooked spears folded into cooked penne together with a little creme fraiche, tarragon and a grating of parmasan.
Located just between Sarlat and Beynac, this has to be one of the most idyllic farm properties around. A true Perigordine maison built with a perfect courtyard planted with Plane trees which are dutifully clipped or pollarded so that by high Summer they provide much welcome shelter under a canopy of large leaves.
Not only is the property idyllic, so is the location. Panoramic views to the chateau at Beynac testify to that. If ever there was an incentive to go and buy some Asparagus, this is it.