You guessed it. There is not one #FlavourOfEurope, but many. And each of them tells a story. Each of them is very much related to all the others. They are rooted in the traditions, in the family memories, in emotions that sometimes we can't even explain but we all share. And similarly to the different notes of a melody, they all taste good separately but are #BetterTogether.
This is what we tried to show with the EFFA Flavour of Europe project. Our flavourists from the UK, France, Italy & Germany got together to create a European cocktail, as a matter of fact, a sugar-reduced non-alcoholic candy cocktail, to tell us their/our story.
If you have received the Flavour of Europe Tasting Kit, please note that these are experimental samples for the FlavourDay event and are not intended for sale. They may contain all 14 EU food allergens listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011. Annex II is available at the Eur-lex website.
All of the flavourings used are natural flavourings. For more information on the production of natural flavourings, you can have a look at the EFFA Guidance Document on Natural flavourings.
You will find below the story of each of the candies below.
With earthy, fruity and spicy notes, the Candy 1 is inspired by popular and natural European products.
The top notes bring fresh and spice notes to the candy. We used Juniper berries, which are commonly used as spices in the European cuisine, especially because of its digestive properties. These berries are also commonly used in France, Belgium, the Netherlands et Germany to flavor the Genièvre, a brandy recognized as the ancestor of the gin.
For the heart notes, we wanted to bring fruity, tanic and sour notes. Blackcurrants/cassis is a native plant and known across central and Northern Europe. They are Vitamin C rich berries and commonly used in cocktails and drinks.
The base notes bring bold earthy notes. Some of the ingredients discussed were rosemary, hay, carrot and iris.
This is the link between notes in Candy One and Three. We used three main elements:
Rose - It comes with a distinct, elegant floral flavor with sweet notes of honey, berries and dried fruits. For this creation, we selected Bulgarian rose oil. It takes several kilograms of rose petals to distil only a few grams of rose essential oil making it one of the most precious and expensive raw materials in a flavorists palette.
Vanilla - Whilst grown outside Europe, the first synthesis of the principal component, vanillin, took place in Holzminden, Germany. Vanilla belongs to the most popular flavors in Europe and also globally, with regional preferences of course. In France, consumers like rummy or floral versions. In Germany, consumers rather prefer creamy notes in addition to the typical Bourbon vanilla profiles. Other regions, such as Scandinavia prefer more “clean” vanillin type flavors with it’s sweet, creamy and powdery profile.
For the creation of this flavor, we used both pure vanillin, and also vanilla extract from Madagascar.
Lemon – It blends well with rose and vanilla and creates the link between notes in Candy One and Three. While native to another continent, lemon and other Citrus fruits now grow around the Mediterranean. For our flavor creation, we used Italian lemon oil, which comes with a fresh, zesty, and also slightly floral character that pairs well with the rose oil.
We wanted this candy to be like a ray of Mediterranean sun. To do that, we used the intense and fragrant notes of blood oranges flowers, amalgamating them with those of lemons wisely extracted, to obtain only the freshest and most representative notes of Sicily.
Then we combined it with the sweet essential notes extracted from the peels of the best sweet oranges ripened under the Calabrian sun. This was still not enough, and therefore, we added the scents obtained from the bergamot peels and, not to forget the Mediterranean Middle Eastern shores, we added an imperceptible warm base with a pinch of their precious spices.
The shape could only be a star in honour of the European flag.
The final flavour, an amalgamation of the above in a single candy. The Cocktail: “European Sunrise”
– something everyone has, across Europe, bringing a fresh new start, representing a big, bright, beautiful, tomorrow at the end of every difficult day.
This is the Final Cocktail – Alcohol free and based on the idea of a celebratory Kir Royal, the blackcurrant providing the cassis notes, the vanilla, rose and lemon providing the champagne impression.
This fourth candy is also sugar-reduced, to show what the flavour industry can do to meet consumer's expectations and also policy makers objectives when it comes to a more conscious diet. It empowers consumers by allowing them to make healthier choices without compromising on taste.
Steve Pearce is CEO, part of the Flavour Creation Team at his company and an EFFA Flavour Ambassador. He has both inspired and led the Flavour of Europe project and team. He has been in the flavour industry for 36 years and is still as passionate about it as on day one.
The Flavour of Europe project is specially about the people and what the industry can do when #together.
Other than coordinating flavourists from other companies, Steve worked on the Flavour of Europe project with his team. Below, Marcella di Mauro (Trainee Flavourist) and Lauren Best (Laboratory Technician) who worked on the flavour and who not only created but also made the candy for recipe No. 4
You can also read here the interview of Steve as Flavour Ambassador.
Margaux is Flavour Creation Manager and from this year also in charge of the MANE flavourist School.
She has the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion for flavours with 3 new junior flavourists, who have been directly involved in the creation of the Flavour of Europe too.
Baptiste Lissarrague, Elisa Klentzi and Franck Evuort.
Margaux finds the inspiration for her profession in everything related to culinary, she often likes to find inspiration in spices, like she does when she is cooking. What she prefers in her job is to discover new ingredients. You can find her full interview as Flavour Ambassador here.
She and her team worked on the flavouring and candy No. 1
She works in the research department, so not only creating new flavours but also getting all kinds of new raw materials for flavour creation. She loves the dynamism of the industry: "You always learn new things, you are never done learning in this profession, you always have new experiences". If you want to know her better, here. is her full Flavour Ambassador interview.
She and her team developed flavouring No. 2 and the application lab conceived the candy that best represented it.
Mario has been in the flavour industry for almost 40 years, so as someone who knows it well, he defines it as "a source of imagination, personal development and innovation. It often makes a crucial contribution to the success of a food product".
It is with this passion that he created flavouring No. 3. As usual, this was a team effort also involving lab experts, below is a picture of the team who created the flavour and candy No. 3.
More information about Mario on his interview as Flavour Ambassador here.
We were also lucky to have Patrick Salord, also a Flavour Ambassador, to accompany us in the brainstorming process. He agrees with our other Flavour Ambassadors, the job of a flavourist is "a creative job that allows to trigger positive emotions in consumers around the world".
You can find more about him on this video.
The Flavour of Europe team would be incomplete without our musician. He took inspiration not only on the taste of the candies, but also of all the stories behind the ingredients, the personal touch of each flavourist, the feedback on European citizens on what the Flavour of Europe is to them and composed unique melodies for each of the candies.
Adriano Galante is founder, singer and musician of the sound action and free song group Seward. Since 2005, Galante has found his own place in the intersection between collective creation, interdisciplinary arts, critical thinking, artists rights, poetry and artistic curation, collaborating with various cultural spaces and a vast list of performing arts projects.
The EFFA Flavour Ambassadors are a community of great professionals that represent the passion and know-how of the flavour industry. In addition to the flavourist above, who created for us the Flavour of Europe, there are other experts from sourcing to marketing, from regulatory experts to Chefs who are also part of the Flavour Ambassadors community. You can find out more about them and read each of their interviews here.