They say you always remember your first time. Mine was in a car park in the village of Montaut in Lot-et-Garonne. It was a hot Friday night and quite a crowd had gathered. You could feel the anticipation in the air.
Yes, that was when I first tried garlic soup, or tourin, as it’s known locally. (What were you thinking?)
The villages in the area take it in turns to hold a night market. They’re not really markets – they are more just village meals, where local tradespeople come and sell food and drink.
On Fridays, it is Montaut’s turn to play host. Damon and I went first went there with a group of friends last summer. That’s when I had tourin for the first time.
The soup is made of fried garlic and flour, with egg whites whisked in and, finally, egg yolks mixed with vinegar. It’s wonderful.
I went back to Montaut two weeks ago today, in the hope of getting another steaming bowl of the soup. Sadly, the tourin stall wasn’t there. It had been replaced by one serving goats cheese wrapped in ham then gently fried and served on toasted bread – which was also delicious.
Unfortunately, it was all I got to eat that evening – the heavens opened and the evening came to an abrupt halt.
I hope that the market proves a greater success tonight. And that the tourin seller is back.