Calissons from Aix-en-Provence

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Calissons are a Provencal sweet treat composed of a light paste of crystallised melon and almonds crushed together. It is coated with royal icing and spread on unleavened bread.


This sweet in a shuttle shape with an orange blossom fragrance has been a specialty of Aix-en-Provence since the 15th century.

The word “calisson” comes from “calice” (chalice) and the Provencal diminutive “oun”, meaning “petit calice” (small chalice). “Calice” originally referred to the holy cup of the Eucharist and Communion itself. The calisson is indeed a kind of host. It became popular between Northern Italy and Provence and semantic usage resulted in the name calisson!

Calisson of Aix-en-Provence © French Moments

Every year since 1995 the blessing of the Calisson has taken place in the Church of Saint-Jean-de Malte in Aix-en-Provence.


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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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