Le Suquet Laguiole - FRANCE
La cistre (Alpine fennel)
Meum Athamanticum, a member of the umbellifers family for the botanists, is commonly referred to as Alpine fennel (other names include 'Baldmoney' and 'Spignel'). The Bras family prefer the name "La Cistre."
Over the years, this plant has become not just a logo but the veritable vegetal symbol of Le Suquet, figuring on its letterhead and its menus. It adorns the chefs' tunics and is worn with pride, so emblematic has it become.
Grown only in mountainous regions, la cistre can only be found whilst walking across the highlands of the Aubrac plateau and thus crystallises all the affection that Michel and Sébastien Bras feel for nature and their homeland. Michel likes to pick it delicately and clasp it in the palm of his hand, with the stalk in the air. Sébastien reaps the benefit of its perfume by infusing it in oil. It is often to be found in the 'Gargouillou'. Fragile and impossible to cultivate, this wild herb will only grow in an environment where the air and the soil are pure, untainted by pesticides and pollution. The cattle love it so much that a hint of la cistre can sometimes be found in Laguiole cheese, something that you won't find in Cantal claim the locals, with a hint of malice.