Situated in the Côte-d’Or, in the Auxois region of Burgundy, is a little village called Flavigny-sur-Ozerain.
Home to just 340 residents, Flavigny is nestled deeply in the French countryside and may pass as a nondescript village if not for the fact that its reputation far surpasses it. The entire town is dotted with historical monuments, including its medieval fortifications, the architecture of artisans like glass-blowers, wine-makers, tanners, weavers, millers, etc, and a Benedictine crypt, earning it the accolade of l’un des plus beaux villages de France, or “one of the most beautiful villages of France”.
The Americans may also know it better as: the village where they filmed the movie Chocolat, yes the one with Johnny Depp in it.
Although Flavigny may be known as “that chocolate village”, it is in fact, better known for another type of candy – the Anis de Flavigny. For those who aren’t familiar, these are aniseeds coated in sugar and flavoured with an assortment of aromes.
The visit to the factory did not permit photography, but here’s a picture of the building from the exterior:
The factory is also home to an ancient Benedictine crypt, where the monks dedicated their lives to prayer, studies and hard work. These monks practised a peculiar “ritual” (if you will), where they’d chant nonstop 24 hours. There must have been a system where the monks rotated and chanted in shifts. At any rate, one would hear music round the clock.
As previously noted, the French are partial to their sweets, so it should come as no surprise that the boutique offered up an assortment of lollies.
And of course, there was chocolate.