Nonnettes, tarte à la praline, pâte de coing, navettes, etc. the list of French pastries that delight the taste buds of gourmets is endless. The result of a traditional know-how, they have been passed down from generation to generation of pastry chefs. Classic or revisited, they are a pleasant finish to a meal but can also be eaten at any time of the day for a sweet and gourmet break.
Highly appreciated by the locals, the reputation of French desserts has long since crossed the country's borders and conquered the palates of gourmets all over the world. Acclaimed for their authenticity, they are made with fresh quality products. Artisan pastry chefs place technical skills at the service of aesthetics for a sophisticated result that delights the eyes as much as the mouth.
Discover the most typical and popular French patisseries, as varied and iconic as their region of origin.
French pastry: some typical Burgundy-Franche Comté recipes
Boasting an exceptional architectural and natural heritage, Burgundy-Franche-Comté (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) appeals to lovers of old stones and preserved landscapes as well as to gourmets and fine wine enthusiasts. The Hospices de Beaune are a true embodiment of the region as you complete their discovery with a guided tour of gourmet Beaune and its many gastronomic treasures.
If the capital, Dijon, is world famous for its mustard, gingerbread is another of its specialities. Introduced in Europe in the Middle Ages, it made its way to Dijon in the 14ᵉ century thanks to Marguerite de Flandre, the wife of Philippe II Le Hardi. The Mulot & Petitjean gingerbread factory keeps the tradition of this French patisserie made with honey and spices alive, enjoy it in the traditional version or in its many variations. Amongst them the nonette is iconic of the region : an icing envelops a soft gingerbread hiding a smooth heart of jam, caramel or chocolate.
Your gastronomic journey in the region continues with the gâteau de ménage, prepared with a sweet brioche dough, the galette comtoise, a local variant of the galette des rois, or the rigodon, an authentic local pudding.
The most avant-garde escape to the table of the Michelin-starred chef of La Chaumière who revisits the classics of the local gastronomy including typical French pastries.
Lyon, capital of gastronomy, and its region: a good introduction to French desserts
Third largest city in France, Lyon and its region have a responsible tourism offer that is meeting growing interest from the public. Like the rest of France, it has inherited a long tradition of French pastries with delicious typical desserts.
The path to discovery begins with the pink praline, a Lyonnaise speciality of almonds or hazelnuts coated in cooked sugar to be enjoyed on its own or in desserts. To discover its manufacturing secrets, take a guided tour with tasting at Le Genêt d'or, an artisan nougat maker from Ardèche or visit la Maison Nivon.
In the praline brioche, these treats enhance a brioche with a soft inside that melts in the mouth. The praline tart is made with pralines melted in cream and presented in a delicious shortcrust pastry. If these sweet treats make your mouth water, don't miss the Gaudelices, a bakery and biscuit factory in the Ain.
The bugnes are also part of the local gastronomic treasures: these small pastries from the doughnut family are nibbled all day long. And impossible to end without mentioning the famous Pogne, a French dessert made from traditional brioche flavoured with orange blossom: discover its history and enjoy a visit to the Pogne Museum and Bakery Pascalis in the Drôme.
Discovering the desserts and pastries of the Bouches-du-Rhône
The Bouches-du-Rhône, a region in the south-east of France between the Alps and the Riviera, immediately raises images of olive trees and lavender surrounded by the song of cicadas. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent to Italy, its many attractions make it a very popular destination. Visit the region and immerse yourself in a cheerful, sunny and colourful gastronomy!
Among the region's must-have French patisseries is the famous quince paste or “pâte de coing” as the French call it. Traditionally made at the beginning of autumn, this beautiful amber-coloured delicacy is sold in pastry shops or on the Provençal markets. It is made by cooking the quince pulp mixed with its weight in sugar and is often presented cut into pieces and sprinkled with powdered sugar. If this type of fruit paste was initially a process for preserving fruits, it is now widely used and is one of the 13 typical Provençal Christmas desserts.
Navettes are also very popular French pastries. These small dry cakes from Marseille, with a history dating back more than 3 centuries, have an orange blossom flavour and are shaped like a shuttle. To taste them just out of the oven, visit the shop-workshop les navettes des Accoules an artisan keeping traditions alive with passion, in the Panier district of Marseille.
The Gard: a land of desserts and sweet delicacies
From the Cévennes to the Mediterranean, the Gard is a department in the south-east of France belonging to the region of Occitanie. Exceptional historic cities, varied landscapes and cultures as well as a wide range of local products characterize this must-see destination. Sweet treats are not forgotten and you will indulge yourself with an abundance of delicious French desserts.
Among its many culinary proposals, the Cévennes area offers its famous Cévennes tart with the sweet flavours of chestnuts, grown since 800 years in the region, and harvested in mid-October by hundreds of local producers.
The pain-coing is another Provençal French pastry made with quince and bread dough or sometimes brioche dough. The fruit, along with sugar or honey and butter, is inserted in a bread dough and baked. This dessert, which can be found in bakeries or on the markets, is often a delight for the whole family. It is eaten at any time of the day to satisfy a little hunger or as a treat. There are also gourmet versions made with apples, the apple-bread, or pears, the pear-bread.
Explore the Valley de la Gastronomie - France ® to discover an exceptional region
The Valley de la Gastronomie – France is the union of two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and two departments, Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard. It aims at making you discover its cultural, natural and gastronomic highlights for a unique and unforgettable experience. Sharing, friendliness and generosity are the founding values at the centre of this initiative, with the promise of a complete immersion in the heart of the region. Putting authenticity first, discover the region at your own pace along with the local stakeholders and off the beaten track.