Anis de Flavigny - Gastro Obscura
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Sweets

Anis de Flavigny

Once made by monks, this candy spends 15 days rolling in sugar syrup to get its pearly-white shell.

Anis de Flavigny candies start with a single, tiny anise seed. Plunged into sugar syrup over and over for a period of 15 days, the seed becomes enveloped in a white shell. The final product looks like a smooth pearl, with sweet layers in flavors such as rose and blackcurrant (courtesy of natural extracts) surrounding its licorice-y center.

The tins that contain these candies are positively rococo, but the sweets have roots stretching back further than the 18th century. The Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain region has long been famed for its anise candies, and the Benedictine monks of the local Abbaye Saint-Pierre got in the game in 1591. When the French revolution roiled the country in 1789, monasteries were dissolved. In their place, several laity manufacturers popped up to make anise candies. Today, the producers of Anis de Flavigny are even headquartered in the former abbey. Plus, the town of Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain has another sweet secret: It served as the setting for the 2000 movie Chocolat.

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Anne Ewbank Anne Ewbank
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