Calissons du Roy Rene

A calisson is a confection originating in Aix-en-Provence, a picturesque town in southern France where my parents have lived since 1995. It's rich in medieval history, art, culture, and of course sweets. That is why you will often find the calisson called the Calissons d'Aix short for Aix-en-Provence.

These delicious treats are made from finely ground almonds and candied Provençal melon with all its rich perfumed delicacy mixed into the paste, topped with royal icing.


That in 1454, during the wedding feast of King René of Anjou, the new Queen Jeanne de Laval, who was morose and never smiled, brightened as she bit into a sweet prepared especially for her by the king’s confectioner who was desperate to make her smile.

When guests inquired as to what finally lit up her face and made her smile, someone declared "Di calin soun!” which means cuddles in Provençal. 

The confection was given the name “calisson” as a result of the smile of a queen.

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