Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour 2017 Stage 15

Where are we? Laissac-Sévérac l'Église / Le Puy-en-Velay

Laissac-Sévérac l'église: The local tourist site tells me:  With its ancient origin, the name of Séverac l’Eglise comes from « Severi Ager », field of Severus, a Roman general. 

A fortified castle (Point n°5) was situated where the old church was built later (demolished in 1900 – nowadays the school’s playground). The castle was surrounded by a moat, of which some traces remain today.
The castle was composed of fortified houses, whose cellars were used as food reserves during religious wars and periods of trouble.
Specialities: tripous (guts), farçous, aligot (mashed potato with cheese), fouace (pie), walnut cake.

Le Puy-en-Velay:  European capital of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. 
Specialities: Le Puy lace, green lentils, Verveine du Velay (liquor), teas and infusions, fin Gras of Mézenc (AOC meat), mountain sausages, mushroom, Le Velay cheese, Vellavia beer.

The stage:  Christian Prudhomme's comment
Hard to tell in what state or shape the peloton will be at the end of this stage. It won't be mountains but the journey through the Aubrac Plateau will be covered at an altitude of over 1000 metres during around fifty kilometres. Further away, the climb up to the Col de Peyra Taillade has gradients of 14% at some places. And that could certainly offer surprises when comes the time for a verdict in Le Puy-en-Velay.
Live:  All sorts of action early, as this may be one for the breakaway. The early break:

This would not last though, as there would be counter attacks and splits in the peloton. With 130 km to go, a big group of 28 riders had a gap of 4:30 minutes on the peloton.

That gap would continue to go up:

The twenty eight: Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb), Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing Team), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Tsgabu Grmay (Bahrain-Merida),Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) , Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Bakelants (AG2R), Tony Gallopin (LottoSoudal), Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Engerie), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Nicolas Roche (BMC), Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha), Luis Mate (Cofidis)), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo- Oscaro), Amael Moinard (BMC), Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Simon Geschke (Sunweb), Maurits Lammertinks (Katusha), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Tony Martin (Katusha) and Thibault Pinot (FDJ).
For the record, I'd love a Tony Martin win. 

Speaking of Tony Martin, off he went from the front group. This may be too early.

Meanwhile, this field art sheep pen is pretty impressive:

Behind, splits in the peloton? AG2R working hard to cause gaps. Froome was briefly caught out, but it would come together again.

Well this suddenly got exciting.

Up ahead, Tony Martin caught by Barguil as Quintanaa was caught by the Froome group and passed. 

Froome solo. He would chase alone. Landa would drop back to help as Froome made it back to the group. That was fun while it lasted.
Here come attacks from that group. Bardet to start.
Left in the group, Bardet, Vuillermoz, Uran, Froome, Aru, Landa, Contador, Yates, Dan Martin, and Meintjes.  
Up the road:

Ten kilometers to go and Mollema was still solo in front. Could he stay away? 
Behind, Yates jumped from the yellow jersey group. They would catch him. 
The attacks continue. Off went Dan Martin.
Up front, inside three kilometers and Mollema was still alone.

Wine: Cazottes Quince

Here is what Christy says: "Authenticity Mercenary" Laurent Cazottes is on a mission - he revived vineyards planted in the 1970s, returned to specific cultivation and distilling techniques traditional to French master practices and set about a life among the orchards and vines in the tiny village of Albi.

Using fruit from his organic orchard in the Albi area of Languedoc, Laurent distils eaux-de-vie and liqueurs with an unparalleled elegance and aroma. These elixirs have caught the attention of New Yorkers and some of the world's great chefs. Until Nicolas Palazzi started importing these lovely bottles, they could really only be found at the world’s top restaurants.  Pierre Gagnaire, the renowned Grand Vefour and a host of others have honored his unwavering dedication to each "noble" essence. Surrounded by greengages, quince, cherries plums and a host of flowers, Laurent monitors all from his home and garden at the center of the domaine's orchards. It’s basically his garden in these bottles. And we’re happy it’s no longer a secret.

Producer website

Food: Aligot
Potatoes, cheese, butter, why not? As tasty as we found it, our pictures were lousy. You can see a few better images, along with a recipe at SeriousEats.

The tourist website provided an easy recipe:
Serves 6 :Ingredients
* 1 kg of floury potatoes
* 100 g of butter
* 250 g of creme fraiche
* 400 g of tome fraîche de Laguiole
* clove of garlic
* Salt pepper
Prepare a classic mash potatoes, add to this purée the butter and the creme fraiche. Season with salt, pepper and a hint of garlic.
Heat up the mash and add the cheese cut in small strips, then stir slowly with a wooden spoon. (This takes a little while and is very good arm exercise!)
When the mixture becomes stringy the Aligot is ready!
Serve with sausages or a pork or beef roast.
Tip: take the cheese out of the fridge early enough, the stirring will be much easier.

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