The incredible virtues of Spirulina grown in the Bauges Mountains
A third-millennium food by nature according to the UN, spirulina figures among the top super foods that offer so many amazing benefits.
A natural concentration of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals, essential fatty acids, and an almost limitless source of iron (far beyond such reputed foods as lentils), spirulina offers more than enough to inspire.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Spirulina under the microscope
In a beautiful corner of Bauges Mountains Natural Regional Park, near Chainaz-les-Frasses, we met with the bubbly Virginie Pimbert, whose vivacious personality is exactly what you would expect from someone who grows spirulina as if a limited resource to treasure.
She started from scratch in 2016 with one associate, and then her husband subsequently joined the adventure. Today Virginie runs a small artisanal spirulina farm called Spiruline des Bauges located at 600 meters elevation.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Virginie and her husband, spirulina growers
Blue algae with a distinctly chlorophyll-like hue, spirulina is a cyanobacteria that owes its nickname to the presence of phycocyanin, a powerful anti-oxidant.
Harvested every other day, processing it requires several important steps: extraction, drying at low temperatures, and grinding the dried strands to turn them into small crunchy vermicelli with a subtle taste and that can be spread on fruits, vegetables, yogurt, etc. Spiruline des Bauges farm also sells spirulina in tablet form to make it even easier to ingest.
It is no surprise that this highly-nutritional food supplement has become extremely popular with amateur and professional chefs who have created a wide variety of tasty algae-based recipes; their beautifully unique emerald hues are simply mesmerizing.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Spirulina filtration on a harvesting table
Spirulina recipes high on vitamins
As part of the Bienvenue à la Ferme (Welcome to the Farm) network, Virginie and Patrick’s Spiruline des Bauges spirulina farm appears in a booklet filled with original recipes.
Whether on an apple and beet salad, in a creamy risotto, or coating deliciously refined chocolate truffles, spirulina reveals its exquisite taste whatever the dish.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Spirulina tasting plate
Spirulina shines brightest when used to enhance nutrition, and what better way than a smoothie recipe to take full advantage of its vast range of health benefits.
In addition, when a smoothie includes one of Haute-Savoie’s most heralded foods, chevrotin cheese (a type of goat cheese), the combination borders on perfection. To the subtle mix of apples, celery, spinach, and lemon juice, simply add a pinch of spirulina and cubes of chevrotin cheese, and voila!
A truly refreshing 100% local treat if there ever was one!
© Spiruline des Bauges / Spirulina and chevrotin smoothie
For a sweeter touch, Anne Claude, a local Annecy gourmet dietician, recently came up with an amazingly delicious recipe, a “bluish dessert made with coconut-rice, mint, and spirulina”. The small shiny flan with a tropical island look offers a smooth sweet and sour flavor.
- For 8 desserts, vigorously mix one liter of coconut-rice drink, 4 grams of agar-agar, and 20 grams of cornstarch (or arrow-root) using a whisk.
- Remove the bouillon from the stove, add 10 grams of spirulina, and mix in a blender. It’s ready! Or almost ready. Just pour it into small cups/molds and then let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- While you wait, prepare the syrup by mixing 200 grams of agave syrup, 30 grams of lemon juice, and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil. Once the flans have solidified, take them out of the mold, pour on the syrup, and enjoy! (While still chilled).
© Spiruline des Bauges / Bluish dessert made with coconut-rice, mint, and spirulina
Our sweet and sour Madame Poppins in Alby-sur-Chéran created green macaroons using spirulina, for a mix that offers pure sweetness with a salty kick.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Green macaroons with spirulina
Derivative products like chocolate bars sprinkled with spirulina have appeared, as well as other products outside the realm of gourmet treats, such as cocoa butter soap with spirulina using spirulina from the Spiruline des Bauges farm.
Everyone can enjoy these peppy and sweet creations.
© Spiruline des Bauges / Spirulina soap
Guided tours and open house for spirulina to inspire you
New this year
The Bienvenue à la Ferme network will organize a series of open houses on May 6 & 7 as part of their Prenez la clé des champs (Take the Keys to the Farm) event, with a plethora of local artisans and producers in attendance. The event also includes conferences, workshops for kids, a photographer, and the opportunity for visitors to grab a bite to eat at lunch and snack time. All the gourmet treats are prepared by producers present at the event. Spend two days learning, observing, satisfying your curiosity, and tasting delicious morsels to sharpen your senses.
If your mouth is watering by simply reading this article, then hop on over to the Spiruline des Bauges farm for a guided tour and a tasting. Open from May to December on Mondays and Saturdays, from 16:00 (4pm) to 19:00 (7pm).
If you would like to purchase spirulina from Spiruline des Bauges farm, here are a few points of sale in the Annecy area:
- Annecy : Rive Bio – 6 rue Centrale Albigny
- Meythet : Au rendez-vous du Terroir – 6 impasse du Viéran au Pont de Tasset
- Poisy : Le Verger de Poisy – 859 route de l’École de l’Agriculture
- Sevrier : L’Atelier de Matt & Lulu – 3700 route d’Albertville
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – 06 27 50 08 39
- © Spiruline des Bauges
Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue
Translation: Darin Reisman