A French Almond Delicacy

CARMEN VALENTINE CALISSONS

This French provençal speciality from Aix en Provence, and adored by Carmen Valentine herself, is a unique blend of ground almonds, homemade candied fruit set above edible wafer paper, and topped with a thin royal icing glaze.

This marvellous confection was created a long time ago as a result of a love affair between a pastry chef and his queen.

Legend has it that in 1454, in Aix en Provence, there lived a pastry chef who was madly in love with the magnificent, but unhappy, Queen Jeanne de Laval. The queen was known to never smile.

The chef, wanting nothing more than to please his Queen, set about creating Calisson, a delicacy so unique and heavenly that it was to become Provence’s most famous confection.

Upon tasting the Calisson, Queen Jeanne smiled so broadly that it lifted the hearts of her subjects, and gave her heart to the pastry chef. Thus, each Calisson has a distinctive curved form which is said to be a tribute to her smile.