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carrot festival

Returning on August 13th is a surprisingly
popular food festival, offering an unusual celebration of the humble carrot,
the Fete de la Carotte in Créances, taking place near our Normandy villas.
Festivals celebrating individual staples of the diet, such as the Lemon
Festival of Mentons, are not unusual in France, but still make for unique
insights into the importance of the local cuisine to the local people.

Located within the Manche department of Normandy, the people
of Créances have been depending on the growing of vegetables since the 13th
century. Not only are carrots grown here in the mielles, a sandy area of land
close to the sea, but also other vegetables including beetroot, leeks and
salsify, a root vegetable with an oyster-like taste.

Growing conditions continued to improve, and from around
1919 onwards the local people began selling their produce in the surrounding
area and even as far afield as Paris. A market garden co-operative, first
established in 1943, meant that sales of Créances’ carrots increased even

In 1962, its members successfully campaigned for the carrots
grown in the town’s trademark sandy soil to be awarded the quality “Label
Rouge” mark, making them a highly coveted ingredient and also one of the area’s
most famous products.

A festival has been dedicated to carrots, also referred to
as the “queen of vegetables”, since 1990, as it has been an important driving
force behind both its culture and economy. The festival is held typically on
the second Saturday of August, and will see a wealth of events and entertainment
to please people of all ages.

More than 25,000 visitors flock to Créances for the festival
every year, where among the selection of events visitors can watch or get
involved with are musical entertainment, a parade of carrot growers and a cooking
competition presenting the best carrot dishes. 

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