Sweet, savoury ?
Mouth-watering gourmet ideas to choose from on market stalls or shops …
Clermont gastronomy is basically a part of traditional Auvergne cuisine, made from local terroir products. This cuisine dates back to the 19th century, following the widespread use of potatoes and the fattening of pigs. Who has never heard of the fine charcuterie (cooked pork meats) from the Auvergne, truffades and aligots? Auvergne cheeses, five of which are AOP (appellation d’origine protégée / protected designation of origin) enjoy worldwide renown: “Saint-Nectaire, which is the best cheese in the world” in the words of Alexandre Vialatte, as well as Cantal, Salers, Fourme d’Ambert and the Auvergne Blue.
The processing of fruit into paste, candied fruit and jam is a more of a specific Clermont speciality. The angelica fields that used to be cultivated in Montferrand are but a distant memory nowadays. Yet the production of fruit paste remains a lively tradition which is exported throughout the world.
Clermont-Ferrand dried jam was already famous in the reign of Louis XI. It was the gift that all visiting dignitaries would look forward to receiving. In 1629, Cardinal de Richelieu who was passing through was given six large, attractive coffers containing one hundred and thirty-three pounds of candied apricots. Later, in Vichy, Madame de Sévigné initiated the craze for candied fruit. But the golden age for confectioners was actually the Second Empire, especially thanks to the Duke of Morny. He turned hundreds of hectares into experimental fields for a sugar factory, the current-day Bourdon sugar plant.
Winemaking began as early as the Gallo-Roman period, grew in importance throughout the Middle Ages and peaked in the 1890s prior to the phylloxera disaster. Considerable effort since has helped revive Auvergne vineyards. Generic Côtes d’Auvergne and vintages such as Boudes, Châteaugay, Corent, Chanturgue, Madargue and Saint-Pourçain in the Bourbonnais are made from gamay and pinot noir grapes for red wine and rosé, and from chardonnay grapes for white wine. In 2009, Saint-Pourçain succeeded in obtaining its very own protected designation of origin (AOP: appellation d’origine protégée).