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Amiens, the hungry city

Make way for sweet delights! Give in to local specialities.

The Amiens macaroon goes back to the 16th century. This sweet delight is made from Valencia almonds, honey and bitter almonds, with no preservatives or colorants.

 

 

 

The recipe for Amiens duck pâté, celebrated by Madame de Sévigné: “I can exclaim: I’ve seen it, I’ve eaten eat, I’ve asked for more. (...) Oh that pâté, that fragrance, that aroma, that taste! That crust that is more golden, more blonde than the hair of Lavardin’s child”. Amiens duck pâté was created in 1643. It is traditionally made with a whole duck, stuffed and cooked in the oven in dough.

 

A crepe, ham, mushrooms, shallots and cream are the main ingredients for the "ficelle picardie". This regional speciality dates back to around 1950. Marcel Lefevre, manager of a the Hôtel du Commerce in Amiens, inspired by the famous cook of Marquis d’Uxelles, La Varenne, presented this dish for the first time at a banquet.

 

Recipe for Ficelles Picardes :

by Mr Marcel Lefèvre, from the Hôtel du Commerce in Amiens

Recipe for 8 people
Proposed by the Le Relais restaurant in Sains-en-Amiénois

Pancake batter

  • 25 cl milk
  • 125 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 soupspoon of oil

Mushroom Duxelle :

  • 500 g chopped mushrooms
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crème fraîche

1/ Brown the shallots and mushrooms in a pan with butter and juice from one lemon. Leave the juice to evaporate, then add salt and pepper. Add 1 dl of crème fraîche.

2/ Make 16 very thin crepes. Lay the crepes flat and put very finely chopped ham on them. Put a soupspoon of mushroom duxelle on each one and roll up the crepes tightly.

3/ Put a bit of liquid cream at the bottom of an oven-proof dish to avoid sticking, then put the 16 ficelles inside. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and cover with liquid cream. Put in the oven, thermostat 5-6, and leave to melt and turn crisp.

Le pâté de canard d'Amiens
Le pâté de canard d'Amiens

 

La ficelle picarde
La ficelle picarde

 

La réderie d’Amiens, grand-vide grenier dans le centre-ville
La réderie d’Amiens, grand-vide grenier dans le centre-ville

 

The réderies (flea markets):

At six in the morning, the city is already bustling. Attractive displays are starting to form. All year round, exhibitors sort, order, and label to take part in the flea markets (called réderies). The Amiens réderie on place du Beffroi and in the Quartier des Halles attracts over 2,000 exhibitors and around 80,000 visitors twice a year. They are so famous that visitors come from Belgium, the Netherlands and England. For the people of Amiens, these are not days to go off walking – everybody meets in town.

 

What a joy to wander amidst the stands to uncover that special little “treasure”: a comic book, a zinc watering can, a 45’ vinyl that you can’t find anywhere else, or that beautiful cherry wood table you saw that very same morning on the back of a truck. And if you get a little peckish, you can enjoy grilled meats, chips or pastries! Fans of flea markets can get the “guide des réderies” that will guide them to flea markets in the surrounding towns every weekend.