Unesco has included the pink garlic from Billom, in the Puy-de-Dôme, as part of the intangible cultural heritage of France. Nicknamed “the white gold of the Auvergne” by the region’s inhabitants, this spring onion is cultivated on clay-limestone lands in the continental climate of the Limage plain. It is planted between December and January, and harvested in July. It is preserved and retains its unique taste for many months post-harvest.
The garlic from the Auvergne region has heads of a caliber greater than 45mm, without flower stem or stick. Each head contains a tight group of 10 to 18 pink-coloured cloves. Its production has been declining since the 1960s. Producers try nevertheless to promote it, through the brotherhood of the Grands Goussiers for example, and the organization of an annual garlic fair in Billom in August. This entry in the Unesco heritage list “is a way to recognize our traditional know-how, value the economy attached to this sector and to ensure the transmission to future generations,” explains François Fournier, president of the association Les Champs d’ail in Billom.
Recognition by Unesco will facilitate the request for Geographical Indication (PGI), an application which will be submitted by the end of December.
Source : Europe 1