Maison Barthouil

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A den of terroir-ists, Maison Barthouil has been dealing out the best local scaled and feathered eats since 1929. All thanks to one Gaston Barthouil, who decided to expand the family charcuterie business in order to exploit an unexpected resource: the salmon of the Adour River. He perfected his technique in Denmark before returning to France in 1958, where he carried on the tradition of preparing excellent smoked fish. These days, wild salmon are rare, most of it comes from farms in Norway, but they’re still smoked over alder wood, salted by hand using salt from Salies de Béarn, slowly dried and never soaked in brine. Other good things to nibble on: smoked trout from the Pyrenees, bottarga, taramasalata, caviar and, since this is the South West of France, duck specialties that’ll leave you speechless: foie gras, gratons, duck thigh confit… Bonus: fans take a look upstairs, where there’s a miniature museum that walks you through the history of Berthouil. // Jean Pascal 

The hidden gem: The plain taramasalata, a far cry from the mayonnaise-padded stuff you find in major supermarkets (€5 for 100 g). 

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