24 février 2024

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La Sauvetat Christmas market, in the heart of the Commanderie

The La Sauvetat Christmas Market is the largest in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the busiest.

The La Sauvetat Christmas Market is the largest in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the busiest.

It has taken place every year for 16 years at the very beginning of December in this medieval village classified as Small Cities of Character.
La Sauvetat developed in the 14th century with the arrival of the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem who set up a Commandery there, a fortress organized around a round tower and a chapel, crisscrossed with alleys onto which open ” vats”, vaulted rooms on the ground floor which were used to store grape must in vats in this vineyard region.

It is in these “vats” that the 95 exhibitors from the four corners of France took place, artisans and producers, selected very strictly by the association “Sauvetat Joie”, organizer of the event with the Conservatoire des Village Forts.
“We do not want to promote soulless industrial products,” underlines Yves Arsac, president of “Sauvetat Joie”. This search for quality artisans explains the success of this Christmas market which attracted 15,000 visitors over 3 days.

It is a showcase for creators and food artisans that highlights local and regional craftsmanship.
The setting in which this market is held, in the Forts district of a historic village, lends itself perfectly to the Christmas atmosphere.

Some new things this year. Among them, the honey from Ruchers Vensatois, the stonemason Xavier Coutanson from Crest who makes decorative objects in Volvic lava, candlesticks, lamp bases, soap dishes, the knife manufacturer from the Thiers basin, Vincent Barré and the tuna producer of Cap-Ferret.

Entertainment contributed to the party, musicians, jugglers, singers, and even an eco-friendly pedal carousel ride, without forgetting the presence of Santa Claus.
And no Christmas market without mulled wine! He drank 2000 liters of it during these 3 days of celebration.

Crafts and delicacies were revealed from stall to stall, delighting the eyes and taste buds and offering original gift ideas…
We first discovered the astonishing Pain du Montagnard, a natural energy product intended for trailers.

A great sportsman concocted the recipe. Made up of a dozen different dried fruits, acacia honey, cinnamon and ginger, it allows you to assimilate a wide variety of micronutrients, vitamins, fatty acids, fiber, trace elements throughout a sporting activity.
We stood in line at the Bisons d’Auvergne stand to taste the pure bison minced meat burger.
Tasty meat, very rich in iron. It can also be cooked in Burgundy with crème fraîche and Lozérien porcini mushrooms.
In his pop-up shop, Marceau, the young son of Benoït Brajon, a landscaper by trade, explained the work of the beekeeper and offered a honey made from all mountain flowers that he harvests with his father in the Auvergne Volcanoes Natural Park .

The Puy Green Lentil, the first AOP legume in France, was in the spotlight. The sector brings together more than 600 producers, generally breeders for whom it is a complementary activity.
It exports to more than 70 countries around the world. The lentil culture is one of the oldest in our civilization. Born in Egypt, it has been present in Auvergne since Roman times.

No, saffron is not only grown in Morocco. Christian Masson grows it in Plauzat in Puy-de-Dôme. A tedious, entirely manual job, which he combines with pastry, his profession, to make apple turnovers, gingerbread, nougats and other meringues… with saffron.
It was the Safranière de Font Bergère/Pâtisserie at Gatita and Gatito which presented its treats on the market.

The Butchery Charcuterie Traiteur Florian Vidas had a well-stocked display with pâtés, white puddings, Aubrac beef, Cantal veal, Aveyron lamb, Landes poultry. It is located in a neighboring village in Longues.

Even more, walking through the streets of the decorated village which lit up at nightfall, there was an anthology of festive products, half-cooked Agen prunes, foie gras from Périgord, sheep’s cheese from Aveyron, Roquefort, hazelnut and walnut oils. There were even chestnuts, smoked trout, snails and, at the back of a stall, two young people who were busy frying crispy homemade chips, organic of course.

A beautiful festive and traditional event which was once again a great success this year thanks to the energy deployed by the small team of the “Sauvetat Joie” association.

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