My recent visit to the Le Cabestan Ferme du Pêcheur in Sainte-Terre near Saint Emilion was so unique and fun! I learned something totally new and unfamiliar…the lamproie (lamprey eel). David and Sabine Durand make these prehistoric creatures their livelihood. This third generation fishing ‘farm’, which is seasonal work until the middle of May, is unique. It is completely dependant on the seasonal migration of younger lamprey eels on their way to the sea.
The Durand family has an incredibly well-run operation, from fishing to cooking to presentations for kids and adults. If you want to see something out of the ordinary, taste something very regional (like the lamproie rillettes or slowly cooked eel in red wine) or learn about an unusual species – this would be the place to do it. Visits are 15 euro per person and include a tour, video, and tasting (degustation). Cooking demos or lessons can also be arranged in advance.*
Like the sweet wines of Sauternes which are currently not trendy, the lamproie is out of favor and not eaten as regularly, even locally. Hopefully keeping people informed, as they do with school visits, and teaching visitors will keep this product around for the next generation.
Le Cabestan Ferme du Pecher can be found on Facebook or on their website http://www.lamproie.fr/ which is filled with more information, photos and videos / 2 Port Peytor, Sainte-Terre 33350 / Phone +33 (0)6 20 89 41 84 or contact directly through Facebook and website / Hours vary depending on the season.
When live eels are not available at the farm, you can also visit the Jardin de la Lamproie museum at 231 Rue du Général de Gaulle, 33350 Sainte-Terre (5 minute drive).
*Only available in French at this time.