In Rozelieures, the Grallet-Dupic family passionately present their 5-generation long know-how. Learning area, film, sound and light show, tastings… you’ll be an expert on Lorraine’s iconic fruit.
The golden, flavourful mirabelle plum is the star of the summer in Lorraine. While the harvesting of the fully-ripened fruit bursting with sunshine is in full swing in the orchards, Metz celebrates with a festival in its honour. It’s a perfect time for a holiday in Lorraine discovering a fruit that lives up to its generous reputation.
A bit of history
Legend has it that in the 15th century, the duke René I returned from a crusade with a few mirabelle plums and planted them around Metz. In 1996, the Lorraine mirabelle plum gained Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, a sign of the quality of the first labelled French fruit. Often imitated, it’s never been duplicated! The proof: 75% of the worldwide production comes from the orchards of the 250 Lorraine mirabelle farmers.
A pleasure for both the eyes and the taste buds
In the spring, the green hues of the trees give way bit by bit to white flowers. In August, the branches of the mirabelle plum trees decorate the orchards with a golden radiance. The fruit, bursting with sunshine, fully ripens in August. The short harvesting period, linked to the summer heat, becomes a yearly event in Lorraine.
> Mirabelle plum harvesting in video
Savoured whole or in a delicious dish
Foodies in a hurry can enjoy fresh mirabelle plums straight off the tree. With a sweet and soft taste, the juicy pulp of the little sphere bursts out from under its thin peel. Other gourmets can savour the fruit far from the orchards, in the summer and all year long, in jams, candies, biscuits, pastries, juices, syrups, teas or in liqueurs and brandies*. The plums can also be frozen. Both home cooks and great restaurant chefs prepare them in a thousand sweet and savoury ways: desserts, starters or side dishes for meats.
> Our recipe ideas
The 67th edition of the Mirabelle Festival in Metz
The mirabelle plum takes centre stage in Metz at the end of August. Music, comedy, shows and games all celebrate the golden fruit that has the honour of bestowing its name each year to a Lorraine queen. From 19 to 25 August 2017, 25 stands dedicated to mirabelles and other culinary delights will set up on Place d’Armes in the Mirabelle Festival village. Elected on Sunday 20 August, the 2017 Mirabelle Queen will parade on one of the floats of the flower parade that closes the festivities on 27 August. The night before, a fireworks show lights up the sky above Metz after a free concert by Catherine Ringer.
The Mirabelle Plum Centre
At the Mirabelle Plum Centre in Rozelieures, the Grallet-Dupic family produces, harvests and distils the fruit while offering visits, tastings and a boutique with products and specialties made with mirabelles from its orchards. The learning area and the sound and light show projected in the distillery invite visitors on a discovery of all the secrets of Lorraine’s iconic fruit.
Alongside the traditional and delicious mirabelle tart, the jams and the fine alcohols*, lovers of the golden fruit have developed a wide variety of products including a line of cosmetics and beauty products, mirabelle madeleines and candies, and even artisanal “Le Lorrain” soap made by Berga’sens from the oil of the mirabelle plum stone.
> Shops and producers of Lorraine local products
Where to buy Lorraine mirabelles?
To fill up your baskets with little yellow plums, make your way to the stands of the local farmers’ markets of the region or head out to meet Lorraine’s mirabelle plum producers on their land. Some of them even offer shipping!
*Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health