The summer cauliflower of Saint-Omer

More subtle in the mouth than its Breton cousin, Saint-Omer’s summer cauliflower has flourished in small plots since the 18th century. This vegetable with a thousand virtues can be cooked with all kinds of sauces.

Cauliflower under high protection

It is a strong head that resists the diktats of modernism. In Saint-Omer, the summer cauliflower is harvested by hand with a knife by a few fervent producers who share a little more than 420 hectares of market gardening. A network of watergangs (ditches) and wateringues (rivers), home to the bacôves, ancestral flat-bottomed boats that transport this king of vegetables across an ultra-sanctuary territory. In addition to being a Ramsar site, since 2013, the 3726 hectares of marshes in the Audomarois region are listed as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

In Amiens, in the floating gardens

Like endive and leek, the Saint-Omer summer cauliflower has its own brotherhood. Composed of restaurateurs, producers and aficionados, this community aims to promote this unique but not so solitary vegetable. In Amiens, but also in the neighboring towns of Rivery, Camon and Longueau, the cauliflower is emancipated in the 300 hectares of hortillonnages. Floating gardens that also welcome broccoli, kohlrabi and artichoke cousins. When the weather is fine, the whole family meets on Saturday mornings on the banks of the Saint-Leu market located a few fathoms from the cathedral.