In the heart of the Burgundy region, the Anis de Flavigny artisanal factory has been located for the last 400 years within the same ivy-covered Benedictine abbey. The small, family-run artisanal business, devoted to its little candy, is the oldest brand in France.
The Anis de Flavigny is a delicious anise candy confectioned since 1591 in the small village of Flavigny. With only three ingredients (sugar, an anise seed and natural flavor) but a patient work, this candy is a favorite in France for generations.
The candy originated during the Roman era, when a traveler brought the aniseed to France. During the 8th century, monks in the Flavigny abbey conceived the idea of covering the seed with sugar. Today, like yesterday, thanks to the knowledge inherited from the Abbey’s monks, the factory team of 30 confectioners continues to preserve this unique and long preparation using the same ingredients and recipes as in the 8th century. Within a beautiful copper basin, the confectioners pour warm sugar syrup on the anise seed for 15 days until the sugarcoated seed is a small hard candy no larger than a pea.
In France, the Anis de Flavigny is as famous for its taste as for its adorable packaging. On every Anis de Flavigny metal tin you’ll find a shepherd and shepherdess illustration, largely inspired from the Abbey’s archives. The legend tells that “sharing a candy with an aniseed held in its heart is a demonstration of love.” As the company created new natural flavours, they continued to illustrate the legendary love story on their metal tins. It is always fun to look at their new designs. When I was a kid, I loved to collect them as they looked like old-fashioned little jewelry boxes. And I’m not the only one! Every French person has a story with the Anis de Flavigny. Cet your own story with this candy in the Café Gourmand Box.
I was six years old when I first crossed paths with this little candy. My grandmother held a lovely oval metal tin in her hands and I wanted to try this sweet that she seemed to love so much. I asked for one, and she agreed, but only if I swore to not bite into it. “Bien sûr,” I answered. Of course I bit it and almost chipped a tooth. Time after time, that was our ritual. When she had an aniseed, she gave me one with the warning not to bite it. From that experience, I see the Anis de Flavigny as a family heritage and a true gourmet delight.
Located 60 kilometers north-west of Dijon, the Anis de Flavigny artisanal factory is open to the public. If you plan to visit Burgundy, don’t focus only on wine and mustard production. Take a tour of the charming and picturesque village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain perched on its hilltop, and discover a favorite French candy.
Just don’t try to bite it!
She is the co-founder of Bon Appétit Box. She was born & raised in Montpellier in the South of France and then spent 5 years exploring the culinary offerings of Paris. In her free time she loves to walk on the beach watching the sea scenery in every season. When she comes back to France, her favorite thing is to sit on terrace with friends and enjoy some cheese (she’s a fan of Roquefort!) with a glass of red wine of course!
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