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