January 24, 2022

Auvergne hands over fruit paste – Liberation


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Cradle of fruity sweets, the region saw this culinary heritage decline after the Second World War. But traditional confectioners and newcomers are committed to preserving local know-how and revitalizing the sector.

On one side are volcanic soils, steeply sloping down to the south. On the other, the wetlands of the Limagne marshes, a peat bog born from the marriage between a sheet of water and an upwelling of magma. We are in the heart of Auvergne, where two biotopes meet which have historically favored two types of crops: on sloping plots, stone fruit trees; on flat land, beet sugar. It is in this green setting spreading out to the east of Clermont-Ferrand that the art of Auvergne confectionery was born in the 15th century, with its candied fruit and fruit jellies at the top of the gondola. . So many sweets that allow, thanks to the preservative that is sugar, to consume all year round the fruits of the beautiful days.

But after the rural exodus of the interwar period, beet fields and orchards gradually disappeared in favor of more profitable wheat and rapeseed monocultures. This landscape change threatens a culinary heritage in this region now best known to the general public for its cheeses – bleu d’Auvergne in the lead – and its invigorating specialties such as truffade and tripou. However, sugar and fruit are still part of the local identity. “When I was younger, my parents often sent me abroad. I have the memory, at 14, of arriving in England and having with me a box of fruit jellies to offer to the family who welcomed me. This kind of attention