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Calisson, Aix-en-Provence

A traditional French candy originating in Aix-en-Provence

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In fact most of the world supply of calissons are still made in the Provence region, perhaps due to their abundance of almond trees, and no doubt their fierce pride.

The sweet itself consists of a smooth, pale yellow paste of candied fruit (most commonly melons and oranges) and ground almonds topped with a thin layer of royal icing. The ultimate sugar hit!

They have been made in Aix-en-Provence since the 17th century, but the calisson is believed to have its origins in medieval Italy. An early 12th century text written in Medieval Latin used the word 'calisone' to refer to a cake made with almonds and flour. 

Some trace the introduction of calissons to Provence around the mid-15th century at the second wedding of King Rene of Anjou. Others suggest that it was not introduced in its modern form until the 16th century, as this was when almonds became an established crop in Aix-en-Provence

However they came about, I think we can all agree that this delightful sweet is a welcome addition to the heritage of Provence.