Aix en Provence in known throughout France for its delicious almond shaped confections. Think of them as the Hershey’s Kisses of Provence. First created by a local confectioner in honour of the King René second marriage in 1473, calisson factories sprouted during the 19th C. Calisson’s are not well known abroad but a very busy sales and marketing staff at La Confiserie Roy René is working on diversifying the flavours in order to have a wider appeal. In fact they have just developed a date filled calisson for the Dubai market place. www.calisson.com
Behind the Scenes in Provence
Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.
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Driving through Villelaure on my way home from visiting friends who run a vineyard in Ansouis (www.stestevedeneri.com) I came across a rather intriguing sign.
Green Asparagus – Marseille London Paris.
On December 24th just after the celebration of midnight mass 13 desserts which symbolise Christ and the 12 apostles are served. In Provence there is no traditional cake or pie at this time of year. Instead they prepare a gathering of what used to be exotic fruit and nuts that came to the seaport city of Marseilles from other Mediterranean ports.
Just in time to commemorate the allied invasion of Provence, the U.S.S. Annapolis has arrived in the Port of Toulon. Operation Dragoon originally called Anvil (the southern counterpart to Operation Overlord) www.operationdragoon.com took place on August 15, 1944 with allied landings on beaches all along the coast between Toulon and Cannes.
It's that festive time of year again and the streets of many European cities from Paris to St. Petersburg are all equipped with lights manufactured right here in Provence. If you have seen how remarkable the Champs Elysées looks before Christmas it's all thanks to the designers at Blachere Illumination in Apt.
Provence was dotted with ice houses that produced and stored giant cubes of ice needed in city centers to store perishable goods.The Glacière de Pivaut located in Mazauges at the foot of the Sainte Baume mountain pictured above was fully functional until the late 1780s and recently restored. Like it’s counterparts it was built on an incline so as to be able to load on one end while taking ice out from another.