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Apiflor: the flavours of the landscape

by catherine levesque

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Apiflor sounds like a wonderful promise. The word calls back honey bees and colorful pastures, and the biscuits themselves give off smells that immediately stimulate the senses. When Apiflor was founded, in Madic, at the northernmost point of Cantal, near Bort-les-Orgues, more than 20 years ago, Daniel Estager first started off with a honey shortbread biscuit. "It’s like eating straight from honeycomb," making it a thoroughly natural way to pay tribute to the bees that support his 600 beehives that he has kept for the last 15 years. "I’ve developed my product line little by little," the entrepreneur explains, who today employs 8 people. "We developed crunchy biscuits and Auvergne carrés, sugar biscuits, then we were the first to offer aperitif biscuits made with Cantal and Bleu d’Auvergne cheese. Believe it or not, it’s rather tricky technically speaking to work with real cheese and a biscuit roller!"

 

Frozen flower and spice bread with white lentils from St. Flour

Daniel Estager produces everything on site and prefers supplying himself locally with raw materials. "Our recipes come from the old Auvergne traditions: Sablé du buronnier (crunchy shepherd’s biscuit), Lauzes d’Auvergne au beurre (Flagstone butter biscuit), or even traditional spice bread, with figs and orange marmalade." Another specialty: a cake made with the white lentil from St. Flour, which brings together a wonderful collection of marmalades and preserves cooked in copper pots (Floranne brand), with sometimes singular flavours – dandelion, verbena infusions and Aubrac, gentian, rock thyme or meadowsweet "teas". "In 2012, we also created with the Michelin-starred chef Louis-Bernard Puech two new lines:bitter orange marmelades for foie gras and for each of the 5 AOP cheese houses of Auvergne." All of these and more can be found well beyond the borders of Cantal, in the regional specialty aisle of supermarkets or fine food stores.