Where It's at
Flavigny sur Ouzerain is the town made famous by
the film 'Chocolat' but what it's really
famous for is another type of candy. Aniseed sweets
- Anis de Flavigny - have been made here for a thousand years
that makes them the oldest sweets in France. As the story
goes the aniseed in the middle helps with digestion and the
local chemist covered them in sugar to make them more tasty.
Anise originated in Egypt and India and was regarded by the
Chinese as sacred.
250 tones of aniseed candy are produced in Flavigny every
year. These sweets are small white balls that could crack
a filling if chewed with vigour. In the middle there is a
little touch of aniseed, which is how they get their name.
They come in fourteen different flavours including rose, violet,
coffee, vanilla, cinnamon - you name it they make it.
The history of the Flavigny community goes back as far as
Caesar who set up his camp there before besieging
Alesia and defeating Vercingetorix. The village of Flavigny
itself was built in 700AD. It's a very picturesque medieval
village and it is in the old abbey where a lady called Madam
Troubert still produces the famous Anis de Flavigny
sweets. During the French revolution, the monks vacated the
Abbey at Flavigny, and the locals moved in to manufacture
their sweets in the crypt. This is how the Troubert family
The Troubat family has owned the Abbey and the Anis de Flavigny
business since 1923. They have continued the traditional manufacturing
since 1923. Production today is still based on these old techniques.
The sweets are made by very old turbines, and some machines
were bought by the grandmother. The company has rejected moves
to modernise since they want to employ as many local people
as they can.