My family and I love to visit France on holiday, and a big part of the reason is the incredible food! Being French, I try to encourage my children to get as involved as possible with all aspects of their French heritage, and one area they’re particularly passionate about is French confectionery. So, I asked my kids to give me their top favourite sweets that they recommend trying on your next visit to France.
This traditional favourite dates back hundreds of years to the Middle Ages, and rumour has it that it got its name from the expression “tu nous gates”, which translates as “you’re spoiling us”! Nougat is enjoyed all over France, but my kids’ favourite comes from Montélimar in the Rhone-Alpes region. Montélimar is famous for its nougat, with a recipe of honey, sugar, egg white, soft almonds and pistachios that has never changed!
These sweets were developed in the 19th century using the local spa water, and are traditionally used to aid in digestion. Their octagonal shape and VICHY branding is famous, and they are a popular treat in the Auvergne region. Another famous Vichy sweet is the Barley Sugar, which are round boiled sweets, flavoured with fruit extracts – my kids love these too!
Caramel au Beurre Salé
When my family and I head to Brittany, the first thing my children do is get their hands on a box of these delicious treats! Made with the regions famous salted butter, these caramel sweets are a classic that has been enjoyed for generations. The most traditional caramels are plain flavour, but there are several modern varieties including different flavours such as chocolate or vanilla, with added almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.
Caramel au beurre salé
Cocon sweets from Lyon were created in honour of the silk manufacturers of the city in 1953. They are made out of marzipan and have a scented flavour, using various different aromatic perfumes. As you can probably guess from the name and association with the Lyonnais silk trade, they are designed to resemble the cocoons of the silk worm. My boys love these!
Look out for these regional specialities on your travels around France, as well as hundreds more unique sweets. There is no better way to explore this fascinating country than by car, and with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it only takes 35 minutes to get to Calais from the UK, making it the fastest way for you and the family to get across the Channel – Bon voyage!