Discover Dijon’s Delicacies in Burgundy’s Gastronomic Capital

Dijon isn’t just an achingly pretty city, it is also Burgundy’s Gastronomic Capital.  This is a city that is really serious about gastronomy.  It is in the process of building an International Gastronomy and Wine Centre on the site of its old public hospital on the outskirts of the city.  

I counted four restaurants with a Michelin star (or two!).

You can sample Burgundy’s delicacies in Dijon‘s many restaurants and find a selection of goodies in the food shops that line its streets too.  It’s time for my second list of the trip – Foodie Firsts:

Dijon in 1 Day - Mustard

Foodie Firsts - Delectable Dijon

We have already ticked off quite an impressive selection in my first post – 1 Day in Dijon:

  • Dijon Mustard – Watch it being sold direct from the pump at the Maille Shop
  • Poulet Bresse – Read more on Day 1 in Dijon
  • Jambon Persillée sampled at the Hotel du Nord, Restaurant de la Porte Guillaume
  • Beef Bourgiononne also sampled at the Hotel du Nord
  • Bourgone TrufflesBoutique de la Truffe, Rue Chaudronnerie
  • Burgundy Snails – also on the menu at Hotel du Nord if you are brave enough to give them a go?

but so many more foodie treats await your taste buds here in Delectable Dijon.  Search out:

  1. Pain d’Épices
  2. Cassis de Dijon
  3. Époisses Cheese
  4. Le Poulet Gaston Gérard

Pain d’Épices

Soft, spicy and with a gorgeous kick of ginger warmth, pain d’épices is a treat at any time of day.  Where will you have your first slice?  From the breakfast buffet at Grand Hotel La Cloche (who obligingly also provided their recipe)?  At the top of the Tour Philippe le Bon accompanied by a glass of warm wine?  Or maybe in the comfort of your own home when you have perfected the recipe for yourself?  

I find that it also make a lovely ingredient to add a thickness and depth of flavour to a rich beef casserole.

Dijon's Delicacies Pain d'Épices Recipe
Pain d'Épices Recipe - Grand Hotel La Cloche
Dijon's Delicacies Pain d'Épices
Dijon's Delicacies Pain d'Épices

Cassis de Dijon

Dijon's Delicacies Cake Cassis
Dijon's Delicacies Cake Cassis
Dijon's Delicacies Cake Cassis
Cake Cassis recipe - Grand Hotel La Cloche

True Cassis Dijon can only be made in Dijon.  Sample it with white wine (kir) or crémeux de Bourgogne (kir royale).

Or maybe even with a slice of cassis cake?

Fascinating Facts - Cassis de Dijon

  • In 2013, “Cassis de Dijon” obtained its own Geographical Indication (GI) which means that Dijon Cassis can only be produced within the commune of Dijon.
  • Dijon Cassis must contain: a minimum 400g of sugar per litre; a minimum of 15% alcohol; at least 200g of blackcurrant berries per litre of finished product and at least 25% blackcurrant berries of the “Noir de Bourgogne” variety.
  • There are four renowned producers of Cassis in Dijon: Lejay-Lagoute, L’Héritier-Guyot, Briottetand and Gabriel Boudier.

Époisses Cheese

Époisses de Bourgogne is made in and around the village of the same name that sits about half way between Dijon and Auxerre in Burgundy. 

It is a pungent “stinky” cow’s milk cheese made with a rind washed in brine and Marc de Bourgogne (pomace brandy) and presented in a round wooden box.

Dijons Delicacies Epoisses Cheese
Dijon's Delicacies Epoisses Cheese
Dijons Delicacies Epoisses Cheese

Be warned – it is VERY soft – so much so that some restaurants give you a spoon to make your tasting journey that  bit easier!

Poulet Gaston Gérard

First created by the wife of the Mayor of Dijon – Gaston Gérard – in 1930, Poulet Gaston Gérard is a mouthwatering concoction made with, of course, Bresse chicken browned in butter and cooked with a sauce made from the cooking juices, grated cheese, white Burgundy wine, mustard and cream.  Definitely best enjoyed with a nice glass of Burgundy’s best white wine in hand.

Dijon - Capital of Bourgogne Wine

Dijon is also the capital of the renowned Bourgogne Wine  area.  There are many cavistes here who will gladly let you sample their deliciously silky Pinot Noir, a cool Chardonnay or a glass of the famous Burgundy Nouveau the first glass of which used to be such a race to sample.

Confiserie du Roy René

If all that isn’t enough for you and you are visiting Dijon close to the festive season, look out for the 13 desserts of Provence in the shop windows.  Confiserie du Roy René has beautifully presented boxes as well as many other sweet treats to tempt you.  You are certainly never going to be stuck for what to bring home for a souvenir of your stay in Delectable Dijon!

13 Desserts of Provence
13 Desserts of Provence - Confiserie du Roy René Dijon