Fil d'ariane > Home > History



The history of Le Val Roubion nougat factory began in 1965 with a partnership between two brothers-in-law, Fernand Gasnault and Doctor Jean Soulier.

Their gourmet objective was to create quality home-made nougat using the finest ingredients, in keeping with ancestral traditions. Fernand Gasnault brought his knowledge and experience gained while working in a Montélimar factory. Jean Soulier in turn supplied the capital for the company…

They began their business in a building called Val Roubion, which belonged to Mr. Soulier, located on avenue Aygu, just a few steps from the Roubion River, in the heart of Montélimar. Sadly, Doctor Soulier passed away unexpectedly in 1969.Fernand Gasnault continued the business with the help of his son Francis, who took over the factory in 1987.


By that time, the company had about thirty workers, mostly women known as plieuses (folders), who deftly tied each item with ribbons, and a few men known as cuiseurs (cookers), who prepared the nougat in copper cauldrons.

Over the years, Francis Gasnault modernized the manufacturing equipment while maintaining the company’s human scale and the rigor of true craftsmanship.A nougat enthusiast, he taught his extensive knowledge and love for the profession to his son Jean-Baptiste, who took over the operation in 2009.  


The history of nougat

Since antiquity, nougat has been made in the East using almonds, honey and spices.The Greeks also made a type of nougat using walnuts, hence the origin of the name “nux gatum” or “nut cake” in Latin.


In the 17th century, nougat was brought to Provence, to the city of Marseille.At this point, nougat was still known as “nux gatum”. In the second half of the 17th century, Olivier de Serres planted the territory’s first almond trees near Montélimar and used the nuts for making nougat.(Almonds keep better than walnuts). Through his success and with the help of the local population, he was able to multiply the number of almond trees.It is during this period that Montélimar nougat supplanted Marseille’s. The true Montélimar nougat as it is known today emerged in the 18th century with the addition of egg whites melted with honey and sugar, which aerate the preparation.

Its renown as a prestigious confection gradually developed.The city of Montélimar began offering Montélimar nougat to its distinguished visitors. It was only in 1950 that Montélimar nougat became generally accessible.Montélimar is located on the N7, the famous holiday route, and tourists flock to discover this local specialty.


Copyright © 1965-2019