A delicate aroma, a sweet and juicy flesh, a subtle scent… The mirabelle plum is a real treasure for Lorraine! This yellow little round plum has made Lorraine its land of excellence.
It’s harvest day at the Mirabelle Centre. In the orchard, the baskets fill with plums and aromas under the hands of the mirabelle pickers.
August is already well underway in Rozelieures, a picture-postcard village nestled between Nancy and Epinal. Sabine Grallet-Dupic, farmer and utmost fan of Lorraine’s mirabelle plum, watches over the precious harvest of her gourmet treasures in her 25 hectares of orchards. On her heels is her son Victor, age 11. “Like myself and like his older brothers, Maxime and Vincent, he learned to walk under these trees!” says the fruit farmer, smiling. Needless to say that the passion for mirabelles is hereditary, passed down here since 1860 over 5 generations.
The mirabelle plum has been produced in Lorraine since the 15th century. A specialty that today has a Protected Geographical Indication, because it takes more than just determination to produce an excellent mirabelle plum. “It’s a question of the land, the climate, know-how and also patience. It takes 7 years for a mirabelle tree to bear fruit,” Sabine explains.
And what a fruit! Here again, the skills of the farmer are crucial, as the golden marbles are harvested only when they’re fully ripe. “A minimum diameter of 22 millimetres, a beautiful yellow-gold colour and fruit bursting with sweetness that makes you want to take a bite.” Taste them whole, right of the tree, or savour them in Sabine’s easy recipe, “caramelised on a warm and crispy tart just out of the oven.”
The Grallet-Dupic family are of the same mind when it comes to gastronomy. Just like her father and her grandfather before her, Sabine and her husband Christophe distil their harvest. The Mirabelle Centre offers liqueurs and eau-de-vie, but also a wide variety of locally-made products inspired by the golden beauty: jams, juices, syrups, teas, candies, caramels, and more. Enjoy the many forms of the mirabelle plum all year round.
With 400,000 mirabelle plum trees spread over the region, Lorraine produces 15,000 tonnes of these little wonders every year and accounts for 75 % of the world production.