The Good Life France Magazine




The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...


Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

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9 months ago

Issue No.26

Apt in the department of

Apt in the department of Vaucluse, Provenceis a largish town with an inner old town. It’sfamous for its crystallised fruit, is awash withgorgeous little shops and home to a fabulousSaturday street market. Founded by theRomans in the 1st century BC, it’s in theheart of the Luberon Nature Park, betweenthe mountains of Vaucluse and Luberon.What to see and do in AptMe, I’m happy to wander the sun-bakedstreets, ogle the private mansion houses,laze around the tinkling fountains andcooldown in the shade of one of the manylittle treelined squares. The town is great forthose who love to browse the boutiques,galleries and art shops, take a break at a café,eat a lavender ice cream and contemplatehow it’s possible to make an ice cream tasteso heavenly. But there’s plenty more to dofor a day in Apt including a museum ofhistory and archaeologyFoodie heavenIt probably won’t surprise you to discoverthat Apt is classified a “site remarquable dugout” (a place of wonderful tastes).Saturday morning is market day year-roundin Apt. It’s one of the biggest in the area anda classified “Exceptional market.” If you don'twant to stick out like a tourist get there by8am, and definitely not after 9.30am! Aptmarket has been going for some 900 years.Incredible to think when you stand therepicking out the most delicious honey andjams, herbs and cheeses, that in the 13thcentury, our ancestors were stood theredoing the same thing! Normally quite sleepy,Apt bursts into life on Saturday mornings, getthere early if you need to park your car.Apt is an absolutely treat for fans of streetmarkets.

Apt is apt to bring out your inner cakemonkeyApt is apt to send the sweet-toothed into afrenzy. When one Matthew Wood, a Britishpudding maker, visited Apt in themid-1800s – he fell head over heels for theglacé cherries and candied fruit producedthere. He started importing the sweet stuff,adding it to cakes and gaining a reputationfor the best of the best. To this day, Aptexports most of its candied, or glacé, cherriesto the UK, and is famous throughout theworld for the quality of its candied fruit.But the history of sweetened fruit in Francegoes back much further. The Popes inProvence, with their court based in Avignonin the 15th century, were said to be fond ofcrystallised fruit from here.In Provence candied fruit is included in thefamous “13 desserts”, a Christmas tradition.It’s served at the end of a meal as a treat. It’sused in cakes (especially the Galette des Rois),and in cooking up and down the land. Andadded to liqueurs for extra flavour and tococktails for extra sweetness.When you’re in Apt, you’ll see plenty of shopsoffering the colourful, shining-like-diamondsfruits of all kinds. Apricots, pears, angelica,cherries, pineapple, clementines, figs, lemons,melon, plums, strawberries and more arepreserved in sugar, their flavours heightened.People come from miles around to get theirsweets here. And if you want to add morecalories – dip the candied treats in meltedchocolate like the locals do!Find out more at the Musée de l’AventureIndustrielle, which boasts a whole section oncrystallised fruit. It also has a sectioncovering traditional faïence d’Apt ceramicsand crockery.apt.fr/Le-Musee-de-l-Aventure