This is a preview of the content in our French Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



The coing (quince) is not as popular as it used to be, judging by the old trees along the edge of the fields that no one seems to care much about. Many grow in the eastern part of France. Ripe in late autumn, they are added to ratafia or made into jelly or quince paste (pâte de coing, often one of Les Treize Desserts served at Christmas in Provence).

Sometimes they are known as the poire de Cydonie or pomme de Cydon. Cydon (Kydonia) was the Minoan name for Chania, Crete, where the fruit was first recorded on Linear B tablets 4,000 years ago (kydonia is also the word for quince in Greek).

Quince sweets

pâte de coing

In the 16th century in Baume-les-Dames near Besançon, a dispute over funds between the abbess and the bishop became so heated that she threatened to hit him over the head with a cross (and some versions of the story say that she actually did!).

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

Fruit and nuts

Sweet stuff

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Jules, moi, paysbaumois