Known as the "bread tree", the sweet chestnuts have fed generations of Cevenol people and their animals. Various illnesses and the lack of upkeep have seen the decline of this tree that is still seen as the symbol of the Cevennes.

Farmers are beginning to tend the trees again, and depending on the season you can find fresh chestnuts to grill or boil, jam, dried chestnuts for chestnut soup "bajanat", preserves and chestnut flour.


 

Recipe for "bajanat" or chestnut soup.

The dried chestnuts need to be soaked in water overnight. The next day strain off the loose skins and cook for an hour in water or milk with a pinch of salt. You can add a drop of wine when it is served.

Visits, small groups only, focussing on the sweet chestnut trees can be arranged through the tourist office. Ask for the brochure "Les chemins de la chataignes". (The paths of the sweet chestnut trees).