Go behind the scenes of gastronomy. Absinthe, Comté cheese, Fougerolles cherries; uncover the secrets of these three iconic products with three flavour-filled visits.

The Eco-museum of the Cherry

You will fall in love with the small scarlet cherry of the Pays de Fougerolles when see how it is celebrated and presented in this splendid museum. Set in an orchard that is filled with what must be thousands of cherry trees that stretch out as far as the eye can see, it showcases 150 years of distillation, savoir-faire and trade in cherries. It’s the perfect opportunity to take home a bottle of Kirsch or a pot of Griottines, those delicious little cherries in eau de vie.

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Fort Saint Antoine

This is a fort you’d be fortunate to visit. Built in the 19th Century in order to garrison 4,000 men, today it is home to a treasure trove of 100,000 wheels of Comté cheese! Visiting its galleries reveals to you the methods of production and a savoir-faire that is a world away from that of mass-production cheese dairies. Here the cheese is carefully looked after every day by master maturers. It is scrubbed, salted, rubbed, turned and given all the time it needs to mature, producing an end product that is bursting with flavour.

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The Absinthe Route

Haven’t we all dreamed of making friends with the Green Fairy, the delight and the downfall of Van Gogh and Verlaine, which was banned in 1915? Since the 2000s, absinthe has again enjoyed the keys to the city in the land of its birth, between France and Switzerland, at the Val de Travers in Pontarlier. Themed route, walking trail, Absinthe centre…it’s up to you how you explore this legendary tipple. And once the time comes to enjoy the tasting ritual, grab the slotted spoon, sugar, spring water and… plink, plonk…bewitching!

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How do you make a toy, a tobacco pipe, a pair of glasses…? The spotlight is on these objects that tell us the story of Made in France combining the savoir-faire of yesterday and the industry of today. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Wooden pipes

There’s no smoke without fire. Saint-Claude has been the home of pipe smoke since the XVII Century, making this town the global capital of the tobacco pipe, no less! At the museum, which is devoted to this object, you find pipes of every country, every era and every shape. Here you can also learn that in 1921 there were nearly 5,000 workers who made a living from this savoir-faire at around fifteen tobacco pipe factories.

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Sparking diamonds

Amsterdam, Anvers and… Saint-Claude! These were the three global centres for cutting and trading in precious stones at the start of the XX Century. Nowadays, the production of these fabulous items is in the safe hands of a group of men who strive to make women smile. Because, as Marilyn Monroe would often say; « Diamonds are a girl’s best friend ». It you also want to be dazzled by diamonds without breaking the bank, head for the Musée du Lapidaire to enjoy the sparkle.

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Wooden toys

The Haut-Jura is known as the « Land of Toys » with Moirans-en-Montagne its capital. During the tough winters, local farmers would transform into wood working artisans. Once globalisation reached this area, this savoir-faire was industrialised and modernised with the arrival of plastic. The world of toys is no longer a La-La Land, but the charm of the toys that are created here still endures. The proof lies at the Musée du Jouet where 3,000 dolls, cuddly toys and games are on display…it’s enough to take you back to your childhood.

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Classic cars

Is the car just a mode of transport? After a visit to the Peugeot Museum, you will see that in the Pays de Montbéliard it is much more than that. It’s a veritable industrial adventure that is retold through steel tools, pepper mills and the manufacture of bicycles, motorcycles and, finally, automobiles all bearing the lion of the Peugeot brand. Pick up the threads of this saga that blends technology, innovation and some iconic models. It will make your heart go Vroom…

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Spectacles and binoculars

Once upon a time in the Haut Jura, a nail manufacturer decided to twist metal in a slightly different way and created the very first spectacles in Morez. Two centuries and a few million pairs later, Morez is the undisputed French capital of spectacles. This is celebrated by the town at a museum devoted to this industry. During this visit these objects, that are simple and functional at first glance, transform into artisan pieces, objet d’art, items of scientific interest and even historical artefacts.

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Blown glass

Everyone is sure to be impressed by a visit to the Passavant-la-Rochère factory. Watch the artisans blow and shape this burning substance as they perform a veritable choreography of actions that is truly fascinating. You will also be surprised by the contrast between the rough working conditions and the refinement of the finished products that are available to buy at the boutique. Whether decorative objects, jewellery or tableware, you will feel like buying everything you can, especially after having witnessed a performance by the glass blowers.

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