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
The reputation of this specialist in cured ham extends far beyond the borders of its native Basque Country.
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.
This farm highlights the dedication and expertise of Brittany's oyster producers.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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".
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!
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.
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
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!
Based in the Cognac region, Letuff is another company with a real passion for chocolate-making.
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
The Maison du Miel
Specialising in honey and honey-based products, Aubrac
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.
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.