Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anise Drops from France

When I invited friends to sample candies from Licorice International, a good friend from the Middle East was particularly impressed with the Flavigny anise mints, each one made from a single aniseed covered in sugar. In the Middle East anise is traditionally used to aid digestion and help breath. The mild flavor and anise in the Flavigny mints would make them a good after dinner candy, my friend said.

I became intrigued by these candies in the beautiful tin and wondered how anise made its way to France. A little research turned up some intriguing facts about Flaginy, France, the place where these drops come from.

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is located about an hour from Dijon in Burgundy and was the location for the filming of the movie Chocolat. It’s been called one of the most beautiful villages in France. Flavigny is named after Flavien, a Roman traveler who brought anise seeds there from Syria in 52 B.C. The Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Pierre, founded in Flavigny in 717, began coating the seeds in sugar. No one knows when they first developed the process, but the candies are mentioned in a document as early as 872. The monks continued to make these delicious candies until the French Revolution, when the monastery was given to several families, who continued the process.

Today the village is a popular tourist spot and one of the “must see” spots is the Abbey, where free samples of anise candy are given out.

You can order three kinds of Flavigny anise mints from Licorice International. Each one comes in a beautiful tin. Click on the name to order.

Anise Drops. Simple goodness, made from aniseed, natural flavorings and sugar.

Liqourice Mints. An anise drop flavored with licorice extract, to give more of that licorice flavor.

Violet Drops. A tiny anise drop with a hint of violet.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating info. Plus, I loved the movie Chocolat. Thanks.