A sweet liqueur
Blackcurrant (cassis) has been cultivated in Burgundy for over four centuries. But it's not just any blackcurrant! The Burgundian black type, renowned for its deep color and powerful aroma, is the main variety, coupled with "Royal de Naples," which helps it bear fruit. Together, these small berries work wonders, producing fruit nectar full of vitamins and of course, a velvety and sweet crème de cassis (External link) , invented by Maison Lejay-Lagoute in Dijon, in 1841. Associated with an aligoté white wine, another local specialty, Burgundy's blackcurrant liqueur produces the famous kir, a 100% Burgundian aperitif.
Delicacies and treats
Foodies, take note! The Burgundian Blackcurrant Route is an enticing itinerary. Follow the signs with the image of the little black cluster and discover the world of passionate producers for a taste of the aroma of blackcurrant simmering in large copper pots. At Ferme Fruirouge, the Olivier family does not lack imagination, using blackcurrant in all its forms. Jams and fruit jelly are classics. With more pulp and less sugar, blackcurrant butter is a delicate variant, perfect for making a tart base that will make you blush with pleasure or tease your taste buds in a meat dish.
Passing through the kitchen
In Burgundy, there's another type of sauce besides world-famous Dijon. This little black berry even spices up a ketchup recipe. Forget about tomatoes, replaced by a Burgundian blackcurrant pulp mixed with vinegar, blackcurrant of course, and a well-measured pinch of spices. It's unexpected but irresistible, just like blackcurrant pepper, a pretty ocher and pink powder obtained from the dried buds of blackcurrant from Burgundy. The greatest Michelin-starred Burgundian chefs, such as Patrick Bertron from the Côte d'Or - Relais Bernard Loiseau (External link) restaurant, have adopted it. Pastry chefs and chocolate makers, don't forget to pack a pot in your suitcase: it's sublimely good!
The perfumer's secret
Did you know? Blackcurrant buds are used to manufacture many perfumes. A woody extract is made from the berry, with floral notes exepcted from the fruit. Great perfumers' noses delight in it to develop their subtle fragrances. A large part of the production of Burgundian blackcurrant is thus intended, in the form of buds, for perfumery, but also for the pharmacy industry. In herbal medicine, blackcurrant berries, leaves and buds have been popular for centuries for their multiple medicinal properties.
You will learn absolutely everything about the berry at Le Cassissium
South of Dijon, Nuits-Saint-Georges is the birthplace of some of the greatest red wines in the world. But the small Burgundian town is also home to Le Cassissium, a place entirely dedicated to blackcurrant. In this interactive museum, the black gold of Burgundy takes the spotlight. Making great use of films, videos and interactive kiosks, the tour tells us about the producers' know-how. Maison Védrenne, on the initiative of Le Cassissium, thus opens its doors to the curious and gourmands eager to learn all about blackcurrant from Burgundy.
Getting to Burgundy