If you visit Aix en Provence in the South of France you will see Calissons everywhere. Calissons are Aix-en-Provence’s specialty and they are stocked at all the markets and in several shops devoted solely to the Calisson. The place to go for Calissons though (as recommended by Clotilde from Chocolate and Zucchini
) is Calissons du Roy Rene
which is a small shop front in a picturesque street just off the town square.
Calissons are a small almond shaped sweet that are made from almond paste, candied melon and orange and sugar syrup. They sit on a thin layer of wafer and are topped with royal icing. What a treat. It would have been criminal to go to Aix en Provence and not stock up on Calissons. Calissons du Roy Rene offered Calissons in every flavour and colour possible and even topped with chocolate. There is also a small little museum underneath the shop containing old Calisson presses and relating the process of producing Calissons.
A good Calisson looks almost too pretty to eat but when you overcome those reservations you will be rewarded by a silky but sweet little mouthful of joy. After much sampling we came to the conclusion that the original flavour was the best and stocked up on those along with some of the other delights that the store had to offer such as a variety of jams and even Calisson spread. By the way, if you do plan on purchasing Calissons splash a little extra cash and purchase a tin as well as the Calissons squash easily (which may be evident from my photograph).
Possibly the highlight of our visit was the fact that immediately opposite Calissons du Roy Rene is a store devoted entirely to olive oil. A Calissons store and an olive oil store, these are the reasons why I love France.
Details: 13 Rue Gaston de Saporta, Aix en Provence, France (Ph +33 4 42 26 67 86)
If you liked this you may be interested in taking a sneek peak at the Aix en Provence markets or if you feel like some gourmet shopping in London try the adorable deli/corner store A Gold in Spitalfields.