Skip to content

Calissons: The delicious delicacy of Aix-en-Provence

The Cookie That Made the Queen Smile

Aix-en-Provence is know for a lot of things such as the fountains, markets, and beautiful architecture. But one sweet treat that is famous here is the Calisson. The goodie is a candied fruit paste topped with a thin coat of icing creating a perfect blend of flavors. It’s made from a fine crushed flour made of almonds and candied fruits made up of the peels and rinds for melons and oranges.  This treat dates back to the 12th century and believed to originate from medieval Italy. The story behind the Calisson is King René married princess Jeanne in the 1400’s. King René was much older than the princess and made her unhappy with this marriage. So to celebrate and help Jeanne forget about her sadness they served these delicious treats. It has also been said this great can protect from illness, and bad luck.


Calisson Review, From an American Perspective

When we stopped into the bakery, Léonard Parli to taste the traditional Provence dessert, we were greeted by the delectable smell of almonds. The shop was bustling with French natives and tourists alike. We made our purchase and stepped onto the streets of Aix-en-Provence for a bite outside. To our surprise, calissons are surprisingly soft and almost doughy. The royal icing had a shell coating over the teardrop shaped candy. We had expected calissons to be super sweet, but when we took our first bite, the sweetness was subtle. We sat chewing in silence, unsure if we actually liked the taste. The tangy citrus and almond taste were prominent in the candy and had a bitter aftertaste. As Americans, we are accustomed to desserts that have lots of sugar. Although the texture of calissons are layered (from the initial crunch of the icing to the softness of the actual cookie), it wasn’t what we Americans would call a sweet treat. Despite this opinion, we are glad we gave calissons a try!


Picture of Lindsey Pritchard

Lindsey Pritchard

Lindsey Pritchard is a rising junior in the University of South Carolina Honors College majoring in public relations and mastering her writing proficiency, communication, and leadership skills. Currently, she is the Co-Director of Accounts for The Carolina Agency, where she manages accounts teams and ensures organization within the agency. Pritchard also loves to sing, travel and read.

Picture of Paige Stepanian

Paige Stepanian

Paige is a junior visual communications major with minors in business administration and hotel, restaurant, and tourism management. She is from Syracuse, NY and is excited to be traveling with CIC this summer.

Picture of Grayson Lutz

Grayson Lutz

Junior Advertising major business admin minor. From Mount Pleasant,South Carolina. So excited to be in Spain to learn and experience every ounce of it!

Picture of Kaedy Bornstein

Kaedy Bornstein

Junior Mass Communications Major, Double minor in media arts and event management. From Atlanta, Georgia

Skip to content