Founded in c. 640, the great Benedictine Abbaye de Fleury (also known as the Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire) located outside of Orléans is one of the most famous in Western Europe.
Abandoned during the Revolution, the abbey took on a new life after World War II when the monks returned, restored the buildings and began to make moinillons, little monk-shaped pastilles (lozenges) stamped with the SB of St Benedict, to support themselves.
It’s the only abbey in France that produces candy from scratch, and you can even find them occasionally in supermarkets. Moinillons come in a variety of flavours, include pine and honey and carabeurre (salted caramel).
Images by Abbaye de Fleury, Gilbertus