The history behind Provence's classic sweet treat: calissons

The history behind Provence's classic sweet treat: calissons
The history behind Provence's classic sweet treat: calissons

Calissons are very popular sweet treats from Provence. Connexion speaks to a notable producer of these oval-shaped, almond-based beauties.

Calissons are the typical sweet treat from Provence, steeped in legend and tradition and still as popular today as they have been since their invention in the fifteenth century. The main producer in Aix-en-Provence, Le Roy René, is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year and is behind an initiative to increase the number of almond trees in the region so that eventually this major ingredient in a calisson will be 100% local, just as it used to be.

What is a calisson?

Le Roy René in the making of calissons
Le Roy René in the making of calissons

A calisson is made in a characteristic long oval shape and has three layers. The base is a thin layer of wafer, the filling is made of a mixture of finely ground sweet almonds and candied fruit and topped with royal icing. The fruit used by Le Roy René is melon and orange peel from Provence.

The Managing Director of Roy René is Laure Pierrisnard, who says the calisson has an important place in local culture: “The story goes that calissons were created for the marriage of René, King ...

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