Discover the sacred fruit of the perigord at the walnut ecomuseum

Castelnaud la Chapelle
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Discover the sacred f ...

For the perigord visitor who has never seen a walnut tree, it can be a surprise to Discover the well-closed small and light green oval fruits that are walnut Hulls. Walnut oil, cakes, flavoured products and of course, walnuts to be cracked for Pleasure during dessert: it is the chief product of perigord. To become some true Périgordins, we are going to the walnut ecomuseum at castelnaud-la-chapelle, An interesting place where you can learn everything about the sacred fruit of Perigord.



An ecomuseum for a product which has been consumed for 17,000 years 

Walnuts are not the green envelope which hangs from the trees in springtime and Is harvested mid-september. No, the nut is hidden inside! The walnut is consumed Fresh during a short autumnal period. When freshly  arvested, it is separated from The hull (which was used as dye for many years) and is sold in the markets. It must Be kept in the fridge and consumed quickly. When eaten fresh, the walnut is a

Delight, full of nutrients, has a light colour, and is opened and pealed easily.

Une noix, cachée dans son brou

A walnut hull


La noix séchée

Dried walnut

The harvested walnut is also transform into various food preparations and used To flavour walnut wine, liquor, mustard, spread, walnut beer, dried walnut Cakes, honey candied walnut… and of  ourse walnut oil! It is also the primary Subject of the walnut ecomuseum where we are going today.

Noix enrobées de chocolat

Chocolate coated walnut

Huile noix artisanale

Artisanal walnut oil

Pâte à tartiner à la noix

Walnut spread


A walk, a museum tour and a tasting

On this lush place at the top of the hill of castelnaud-la-chapelle, overlooking The castelnaud castle, is the 7 hectares walnut plantation of the ecomuseum. Since the 18th century, the walnuts have been grown on this large and sunny land. The adjacent farm building was use for storage and for the transformation of the Harvest. In 1996, the site is open to the public, so people can discover all the various Uses of the walnut and its history in the perigord.

Les noyers sont les premiers à perdre leurs feuilles et les derniers à les avoir

The walnut trees are the first one to loose their leaves and the first ones to get someL’entrée du bâtiment

Entrance of the building


The vielcroze mill turns all year to produce in an artisanal way using Traditional methods, the golden and odorous walnut oil. As in the old days, you can Come here with your walnuts and have them crushed to then enjoy your own walnut Oil! Besides, the aiguevive oil mill uses a modern cold press extraction method to Produce virgin walnut oil of a very high quality, while generating a higher volumetric Yield. If the oil of the vielcroze mill is for local consumption, the oil from the Aiguevive oil mill builds the reputation of walnut oil outside dordogne.

La meule lors du broyage

The grinding wheel during the crushing


While approaching the vielcroze mill, you are greeted by a fine and strong odour Which gives of a powerful aroma of roasting coffee. On going through the door you Discover the grinding wheel under constant rotational movement. Dry walnuts are Slowly crushed, ground to be transformed in an unctuous and soft dough. They are Processed in units of 30 kilos and in general, we get 15 kilos of walnut oil. The rest of The product, the press cake, is used to feed cattle.

 

The unctuous dough is slowly heated in a large cast iron bowl for 30 minutes, then Transferred to a press which creates a force of 32 tonnes. The golden liquid, silky And translucent is then extracted from the dough. Taste it, it is delicious, soft and Full of character!

La chauffe de la pâte de noix

Heating the walnut doughLe pressage

The warm up of the walnut spreadL’huile sort de la presse en fonte

The crushing


The ecomuseum which is located at the other side of the building takes you on a Very interesting tour, starting with a film on the perigord walnut, its uses and Various protagonists illustrate its importance to perigord. You then walk through various rooms, where you can see a collection of the Different varieties of walnut, paintings, objects relating to the walnut trade and its Multiples uses. You can also see sumptuous walnut tree sculptures.

Le musée

The museum Un bébé noyerA baby walnut tree

Sculpture en noyer

Walnut sculpture


The shop of the ecomuseum offers oils produced on site, but also Other delicacies and various walnut products, all locally produced. It is an ideal Place for some quality shopping and local products. Taste the walnut spread on Crêpes with cream it is exquisite…taste the walnut beer, fine and slightly astringent, Perfect for an aperitif. Walnuts in nets, cakes, kernels, in vacuum packets, there is a Large choice to cater every taste. Outside the farm building is a picnic area and a walk with fun-educational boards To be discovered with the family. Overall, the ecomuseum is a place where you can Spend a full day with the family and enjoy the delicacies of the périgord in the Shade of the walnut trees! Just few steps away from the dordogne valley and its Many tourist sites.

 

Aire de pique-nique

Picnic areaLes panneaux

The explanatory boards

En savoir plus


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