Calissons d’Aix

“Following Cézanne’s Footsteps”

calisson_b_pageAn Aix-en-Provence specialty, the Calisson is a delicious blend of almond paste, orange zest and candied cantaloupe covered with a delicate layer of icing.

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“Under its pale lacy shell, this Calisson delivers citrus notes, with hints of ripe juicy orange and candied melon. The rich almond paste blends with the aromas of sweet, sun-gorged fruit. The finish offers hints of ginger. Like a still-life painting, Cézanne’s countryside invites you in.” – Gisèle Marguin, Master Sommelier of the UDSF (Union de la Sommellerie Française)

Ingredients

Californian almonds, candied cantaloupe, candied oranges, sugar, icing sugar, water, glucose syrup, inverted sugar, unleavened bread, water (for icing), egg whites, natural vanilla flavouring, natural almond flavouring.

Allergens

Contains fruits with shell, eggs and sulfites.

 

Nutrition facts

Nutrition facts

where the calisson d’aix comes from (history and origin)

Savoured since Greek and Roman antiquity, the mixture of almonds and candied fruit was also appreciated during the Middle Ages, as attested by an allusion to this delicacy in the Chronicles of the Venetians by Martino di Canale in 1275.

Many legends explain the origin of the Calisson d’Aix. The most famous is the one telling that on the occasion of King René d’Anjou’s wedding with Jeanne de Laval in the 15th century, the master confectioner had the queen taste a calisson. The latter would have greatly appreciated this dish! This period of trade between Provence and Italy encouraged the development of this culinary specialty.

Nevertheless, it was only when the almond was grown directly in Provence in the 16th century that trade really took off and Aix-en-Provence became the city of Calisson. The first factories were built in the 19th century. During the 20th century, the city had about twenty manufacturers.

Local ingredients for dough preparation

  • The almonds are mound and crushed (40%) with candied melons and candied fruit or orange peel syrup (60%).
  • This mixture is then heated in a mixer. The confiscator then works the dough by hand and lets it rest for 2 days.
  • The “royal ice cream” of the Calisson d’Aix must then be prepared. It is a mixture of egg white with sugar in a mixer.

Calisson shaping: the calisson machine!

A leaf of host is placed under the tray containing the moulds of the shape of the calisson. These moulds are then filled with dough by the machine. The icing is then manual. The calissons are then removed from the mould and placed on a baking sheet to iron in the oven to solidify the “royal ice cream”. They then cool in the open air.

In Aix-en-provence or in the surroundings, it will be possible for you to visit the workshops of calissonniers but also manufacturing plants to discover everything of this know-how. The age of the houses guarantees you many delicious anecdotes!
Between tradition and innovation

Thanks to its age, the Calisson d’Aix is very appreciated and even enjoys a blessing every year at the Saint-Jean-de-Malte church in Aix-en-Provence!

In the 1980s, many family houses expanded, turned to international markets and diversified their products. The workshops strive to innovate and create variations of calisson with chocolate, orange blossom, lemon, violet… always in the spirit of calisson d’Aix. There are also salted calissons for the aperitif, which received the great food innovation prize in 2010.