I thought I’d tell you a little bit about our lovely area called Le Lauragais. It’s also referred to as Pays de Pastel because producing the blue pastel dye was the main industry in this area in the 15th and 16th C. This lovely shade of blue was considered a magical color as the process of getting to the blue (by boiling the woad plant) changed before your eyes from green to yellow to blue. Pastel only fell out of fashion with the arrival of Indigo. In Albi I take my workshop participants to a small store that sells not only products dyed with blue pastel, but also the pigment itself and as ink, dye, watercolor, pastel and paint!
We are very similar in “feel” and “light” to Tuscany. Rolling hills of wheat and endless fields of sunflowers are patch-worked along with the beautiful forests of La Montagne Noire (the Black Mountain). We have a rich gastronomic history because of the fertile soil and farmlands. Cassoulet, goat cheese, foie gras, duck confit, are all specialties of the area.
Did I mention the rich artistic heritage in the area- more about that next post. A collage I did from images of the area.