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Initially used for its medicinal virtues, Chicory (95% of which is produced in Hauts-de-France) is now used for daily consumption, particularly in the preparation of regional recipes.

A plant with many virtues

Chicory has been cultivated since ancient times by the Greeks and Egyptians for its medicinal properties. In Europe, its consumption has been used as a substitute for coffee since the continental embargo imposed on Napoleon by the English in 1806, chicory was then called "the coffee of the poor".

Since the 1970s, it has been used in the composition of inulin, a replacement sugar for diabetics.

Chicory comes from the same family as the endive. Mainly cultivated for its roots, it is available in different forms: liquid, grains or powder. The roots are seeded in April and harvested in October, before being roasted.

It is this last step that gives it its distinctive caramel and hazelnut aroma. Rich in fibre and minerals, and 100% natural, it contains no added sugars or caffeine.

It can be consumed as a hot drink, with water or milk, or add a few beans to your coffee. It is also used in cooking for savoury or sweet dishes.

The first chicory producers were northern companies. Leroux, established in Orchies since 1858, is the European leader in Chicory production. The company processes about 95% of regional production (80,000 tonnes per year) and employs 200 people.

The second European producer is the Lutun family, which has been running the Chicorée du Nord company in Oye-Plage since 1934.

Would you like to discover other regional specialities?


Jessica from Comme des Français