Calisson is a soft French candy, firstly made in the Provencal region of France. Calisson is made of homogenous paste of almonds and candied fruits like oranges and melons. It is about 1 to 2 inches in length and often shaped like an almond or a diamond. Calisson has a texture of marzipan or fondant tastes fruity due to the candied fruits. The candy is covered with royal icing from outside.
Calisson was made since the time of medieval Italy and some of the initial references of Calisson dates back to the year 1275 in Martino di Canale’s Choronicle of the Venetians. Calisone, referred to as cake made with flour and almonds was mentioned in the text of 12th century written in Medieval Latin. According to some, Calisson has been traced back to Provence around the 15th century during the second wedding of King Rene of Anjou, where King Rene got married to Queen Jeanne de Laval, his second wife who was unhappy to get married to a 45 year old man. The queen smiled when she was presented the sweets in her honor, making the person who presented the sweets say words “Di Calin Soun” , meaning, they are sweet. However, there are people who suggest that the modern form of Calisson was introduced during the 16th century when Almonds were the established crops in Aix-en- Provence.
Calisson recipe is made of blanched almonds, candied melons and candied orange peels.
Calisson is made using two steps, where first, its dough is made. When the dough is made, the almonds are grounded to make a paste and then the orange peel is added to the paste, which gives a tangy taste to the candy. Once the paste is made with almond and orange peel, it is given a water bath. The vessel or container with paste in it is put onto another container having water in it. This is done before the paste actually goes into the oven.
The paste is then cooled and rolled in the rectangular shape on a sheet of wafer or wax paper. The mixture is cut into thin strips and then given diamond shapes. After this, the shapes are immersed into the royal icing and kept until the icing hardens.
In today’s time, the factories making Calisson use trays having diamond shaped moulds to get the uniform sized candies.
1 serving of Calisson consists of 47 calories, 2gm of total fat, 1 gm of protein, and 7 gm of sugar.
Calisson is a part of the “13 desserts” that are served in Aix after the midnight mass on the 24th of each December.
- Calisson candies are sold in a sleek white box or cellophane bag in most of the confectioneries of Aix.
2. The high price of Calisson is due to the elaborate process of making them.