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The Lorraine mirabelle

Gastronomy, holidays & weekends guide in Great East

The Lorraine mirabelle - Gastronomy, holidays & weekends guide in Great East

A small, round, yellowish-orange plum, with sweet, juicy flesh, there are two main types of Lorraine mirabelle, the bigger one from Nancy, the smaller one from Metz. Thesevarieties ripen in August. There are other varieties such as the Flotow, which is harvested in July, and the Corny, which ripens later, in late September.

Having PGIstatus, this delightfully sweet fruit is delicious in tarts, compotes, jams or in awell-known local liqueur. According to legend, the Lorraine mirabelle was introduced by King René,the Duke of Anjou and Lorraine in the 15th century. These days, the region is responsible for 90%of French production, and 75% of production worldwide.

The Lorraine mirabelle is alsohighly valued for its health benefits. High in fibre, it aids digestion, and its high Vitamin E content helps to combat myopia!

In August there are various mirabelle festivals held in the region, at Metz, Bayon and Nancy. There is even a mirabelle fair held in the orchards of the Meuse hills and aroundLake Madine, with various sports and taste challenges, and puzzles to test competitors' skill and mental abilities.

To visit: the Maison de la Mirabellevisitor centre, at Rozelieures, where you can learn much about the history and production of the fruit.

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