Festive speciality: Les treize desserts
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.