According to the Rough Guide, there is actually no connection between the French town called Condom and the contraceptive device of the same English name. This leads me to wonder quite why such a name was chosen for the contraceptive. Since I just about remember, from more youthful days, some folks referring to sheaths as “French letters”, I assume there to be some historic connection with France but any connection is apparently not with Condom, itself. A case for some Internet research, maybe. Incidentally, the French name for a contraceptive sheath is préservatif.
Rather curiously, the town of Condom has clearly willingly adopted its nominal English association with sheaths. The French are not usually given to adopting anything foreign. As a result of this atypical adoption, postcard displays around the town offer, amongst the more traditional tourist shots, rather predictable visual gags concerning condoms. Condom (the town) does have a reasonably impressive cathedral with some interesting and much photographed cloisters. Naturally, one can buy “straight” postcards of the cathedral and cloisters. One can also buy postcards depicting said cathedral with its tower encased in a gigantic sheath. I assume such wit (?) to be aimed at passing English school boys. Having said that, I did weaken just a little and bought Guillaume a Condom sticker bearing the town’s shield – and only the town’s shield. Well, it had to be done. 😉
The main reason for most rational alcoholics to visit Condom is its association with Armagnac. Armagnac is a French brandy differing from Cognac in that it is the result of a single distillation rather than a double distillation process. To my palate the single distillation leaves Armagnac with slightly more flavour and, perhaps, slightly less fire than Cognac, and I personally prefer it. Unfortunately, we were on just a night halt and didn’t have time for an Armagnac distillery tour. Next time, perhaps.