Fes­tive spe­cial­ity: Les treize desserts

Living France - - A La Maison -

Thir­teen desserts might seem like an ex­trav­a­gant way to finish a meal, but this is a tra­di­tional part of Christ­mas in Provence. The desserts are served af­ter the gros souper or Christ­mas Eve din­ner, and rep­re­sent Je­sus and the 12 Apos­tles. Guests are en­cour­aged to try a lit­tle of each dessert, which of­ten in­clude dried fruits and nuts; fresh fruit; pain d’épices (gin­ger­bread), calis­sons d’Aix (an al­mond-shaped con­fec­tionary from Aix-en-Provence); two kinds of nougat (black and white to rep­re­sent good and evil), quince paste (or pâte de co­ing) and fougasse à l’huile, a flat sweet cake which is al­ways the fi­nal dessert.

The ta­ble is set with three table­cloths and three can­dles to rep­re­sent the Holy Trin­ity.

Thir­teen desserts might seem like an ex­trav­a­gant way to finish a meal, but this is a tra­di­tional part of Christ­mas in Provence

ON THE MENU NEXT MONTH... …GASCON LEG OF LAMB We share the recipe for this hearty dish.

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