Créances celebrates the humble carrot with popular annual festival

10th August, 2016
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 further.

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.