A behind-the-scenes look at our gourmet delicacies

  • Saffron flowers

    Saffron flowers

    © ATOUT FRANCE / Philippe Imbault

  • Guérande salt

    Guérande salt

    © ATOUT FRANCE / Martine Prunevieille

  • Chef Christian Etienne preparing black truffles from Vaucluse

    Chef Christian Etienne preparing black truffles from Vaucluse

    © ATOUT FRANCE / Michel Angot

A behind-the-scenes look at our gourmet delicacies

Each French region demonstrates its individual identity and expertise through a range of local specialities, such as cheese, homemade products, exquisite chocolates and confectionery, as well as a whole host of high-quality and traditional delicacies. Visitors can discover the sometimes surprising secrets behind the production of these unique specialities by visiting different workshops and factory-museums.


The Rungis Market: the best place in Paris in which to discover France's regional specialities

This unique wholesale market to the south of Paris, considered to be the largest of its kind in Europe, brings together the best flavours of France in its vast hangars. A visit to this incredible hive of activity opens the doors to an extraordinary world, where work starts well before dawn. A truly unique visit!

Specialist companies which dedicate themselves to high-quality products


Maison du Jambon de Bayonne 

The reputation of this specialist in cured ham extends far beyond the borders of its native Basque Country. 

Truffles from the Tricastin or Luberon

This region, situated between the Drôme and the Vaucluse, produces the largest number of black truffles in France.

Maison de l'Huître, in Arcachon

This company based in Gujan-Mestras introduces visitors to the oyster-farming industry, which plays an important role in the life of the Arcachon basin.

Maison de l'Huître, on the Ile d'Oléron

This family-run oyster farm off the Charente coast is open to the public.

Ferme Marine de l'Aurore, near Cancale

This farm highlights the dedication and expertise of Brittany's oyster producers.

Musée du Safran, in the Gâtinais

A number of farmers in the south of the Ile-de-France region produce saffron, one of the world's most exotic, delicate and expensive spices.

Maison de la Mirabelle

The round, sweet and attractive Mirabelle plum is a speciality of the Lorraine.

Olive oil mills in the Pays de Nyons

 This part of the Provençal Drôme is renowned for the quality of its olive oil, acquired via a combination of traditional expertise and modern production techniques. Awarded AOC (appellation d'origine contrôllée) status, the oil is sometimes tasted in the same way you would a good wine!  

 www.moulin-dozol.com
www.scourtinerie.com

La Fleur de Sel de Guérande

The shimmering marshes of the Guérande region, situated between Brittany and the Loire Valley, are reputed for the patient, painstaking work of the salt worker, who collects the crystals from the surface of the region's salt pans. 

www.salinesdeguerande.com
www.terredesel.fr

The mushroom beds of Touraine

The Paris mushroom, also known as the cultivated mushroom, is one of the few mushrooms to be cultivated, and is grown in the unusual conditions of permanent darkness. Produced in the Paris catacombs during the Napoleonic era, the mushroom is now cultivated on a large scale in underground galleries in the Saumur and Tours regions.

The Espelette pepper, from the Basque Country

This spice expresses the strong temperament of the Basque village in which it is produced. The AOC production area is very limited. A pepper farmer in Ustaritz explains his work to visitors.

Speciality cheeses


Reblochon

This emblematic cheese from the Savoy Alps (the AOC area is limited to the Massif des Aravis, near Lake Annecy) is renowned for both its history and aroma! The cheese is produced either by cooperatives or directly by dairy farmers, when it is known as "Reblochon fermier".

Roquefort

The wild Causses du Larzac are home to the Lacaune breed of sheep, from whose milk Roquefort cheese is produced. Often described as a "veined" cheese, Roquefort develops mould during its maturing process, which takes place in deep caves cut from the rock. A true symbol of France if ever there was one!

www.roquefort.fr
www.roquefort-societe.com
www.roquefort-papillon.com

Comté

The flagship product of the Jura and of the region which partly bears its name (Franche-Comté), Comté cheese is produced along a route which is dotted with interesting places to visit, including museums, cooperatives (known here as "fruitières"), and incredible maturing cellars housed under the fortifications built by Vauban, among others. 

Camembert

This AOC label covers a single village and a single recipe based on full unpasteurised cow's milk - the result is original Camembert cheese from Normandy.

Some of our famous chocolate-makers


Le Paradis du Chocolat, in the Dauphiné

Pierre Jouvenal is a pastry-maker who has been seduced by the lure of the cocoa bean and the sacred drink of pre-Columbian Mayans! He introduces visitors to the history of chocolate and organises courses where visitors can try their hand at making chocolate in his workshop in Côte-Saint-André, a charming small town between Grenoble and Lyon in the Dauphiné-Isère which was also the native region of Berlioz!

Maison Letuffe, in Angoulême

Based in the Cognac region, Letuff is another company with a real passion for chocolate-making.

Puyricard, in Aix-en-Provence

Located in a village near the elegant city of Aix, amid landscapes dominated by the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, this company is renowned for its imaginative and creative chocolates.

Desserts and confectionery


Biscuiterie de la Sablésienne
Sablé-sur-Sarthe

The Maison du Miel
Specialising in honey and honey-based products, Aubrac

La Bêtise de Cambrai
Run by the sweet-maker Afchain (in the Nord region) 

Le Musée du Bonbon 
Sweet museum run by the company Haribo, Uzès (Gard)
 

La Confiserie Florian
A sweet-maker on the French Riviera
 

Provençal sweets and delicacies 


The tradition of 13 Christmas desserts in Provence highlights several typical sweets of the region, made from simple, unique recipes originally created by peasants.

Nougat from Montélimar and the Pays du Ventoux

Montélimar is described as the "capital" of white nougat, a hard paste made from cooking sugar, honey, egg whites and almonds. Several reasonably sized companies have been based in the region for many years.

Factories and workshops open to visitors:

Le Palais des Bonbons
La Fabrique Arnaud Soubeyran (founded in 1837) 
Les Frères Sylvain, a nougat producer in Saint-Didier (Pays du Ventoux)
Supplied directly by almond growers, the workshop also produces black nougat, an even simpler delicacy in which the honey caramelizes in the pan.


Crystallised fruit from Apt, in the Luberon

The Musée de l'Aventure Industrielle d'Apt is dedicated to the production of "fruit confit" or crystallised fruit, which is made by cooking fruit with sugar.

Calissons from Aix-en-Provence

The Confiserie du Roy René factory, based in the heart of Cézanne's home town, continues to produce this delicacy which is made using almost the same basic ingredients as nougat: sugar, powdered almond, egg whites... and unleavened bread.

Berlingots from Carpentras

Based on cooked sugar, these acid drops are made from juice recovered from crystallised fruit, an idea which dates back to the 19th century.

www.berlingots.net
www.carpentras-ventoux.com

Things to see