Take a trip to the thermal spa town in Auvergne and you’ll find lots of local delicacies on the menu. Here’s our at a glance guide to what to eat and drink in Vichy, whether you are on a health kick or need to satisfy a sweet tooth.
These sweets have been produced here since 1973 and contain mineral salts extracted from the Vichy’s natural springs. They are traditionally mint flavoured, but also come in lemon and aniseed varieties.
Naturally sparkling water is produced from two springs, Vichy Celestins and Vichy St Yorre – both of which are sold bottled. There are various fountains in town, where those suffering from skin conditions or digestive problems come to fill a glass and ‘take the waters’ for medicinal reasons.
The local red, white and rose wine is known as Saint Pourcain and gained AOC status in 2009. Saint-Pourcain-sur-Siole is one of the country’s oldest winegrowing areas and yet one of the lesser known appellations in France.
L’Absinthe de Vichy
Philippe Fumoux makes absinthe in Vichy. La Distillerie de l’Absintherie Bourbonnaise de Vichy opened in 2011 and Philippe’s Absinthe Napoléon III won a coveted bronze medal at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris in 2013!
The local chicken, guinea fowl, capon and turkey are prized as slow growing breeds, raised on a healthy diet of grains with room to move. They are marked with a label rouge for quality and are deliciously low in fat.
The carrots themselves might not be locally grown, but what sets these vegetables apart is the way they are cooked – boiled or steamed in Vichy spring water to make them rich in rare minerals.
Auvergne is famous for its fromage: La Comtesse de Vichy is a cow’s milk variety wrapped in bark, Cerilly is named after a nearby town and is one of the oldest types of cheese produced in this region and Chambérat has been awarded an AOC label.
Les Marocains is a chocolate shop on Rue Georges Clémenceau in Vichy that sells several local speciality sweets, including: alma (sugar coated chocolate truffles created in 1854) and marocains (hard caramels with soft, chewy centres – flavoured with coffee or chocolate).