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The four producers of crème de cassis from Dijon (Côte d´Or) won their case against Chinese manufacturers who wanted to usurp this geographical origin yet protected by an appellation.
In Dijon (Côte d´Or), regional specialties can be bought at the market: old-fashioned mustard, Burgundy snail, not to mention crème de cassis. This liqueur created in 1941 is known throughout France. Despite the protected designation of origin, Chinese manufacturers have sought to usurp the name of this product made in the heart of Dijon. This blackcurrant, produced in Burgundy, is macerated for several weeks using a traditional technique. “We’ve been doing this for 180 years now, so obviously we want to protect our blackcurrant,” says Claire Briottet, producer.
Know-how to protect
The four producing houses of crème de cassis fought for two years to prevent these manufacturers from appropriating their know-how and especially the geographical indication of Dijon. On a Chinese bottle, however, we see that it is written “Crème de Cassis Dijon”. “Who prevented them from doing that with the aroma? We put water with sugar in the aroma and poof, we write ‘crème de cassis’,” insists Claire Briottet. More than 8 million bottles are produced each year in the region, and a third is exported to Asia, in particular.
Crème de cassis is a sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants. In Burgundy, it is usually added to crémant de bourgogne or Aligot . Several cocktails are made with crème de cassis, including the very popular wine cocktail, kir. It may also be served as an after-dinner liqueur or as a frappé.