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Saturday, 14 December 2013

treize desserts......thirteen desserts

Tradition has it that around Christmas, the treize desserts are eaten here in the Provence area.
Mainly, in fact, entirely made up of fruits and products of the area, they are greatly appreciated.
Because of their fabrication costs, they are expensive, nowadays, 'candied' fruit (whole) is not cheap. Even these - the 'mendiants' (beggers) of the 13 are expensive (nuts etc being very limited in quantity)
Français : Mendiants des 13 dessertsFrançais : Mendiants (beggers) des 13 desserts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 the modern day system has kept   closely to the old one with certain exceptions.
Wine was not particularly counted as one of the 13 - it was present anyway...!

Dried fruit and nuts

Four beggars
The first four of these are known as the "four beggars" (les quatre mendiants), representing the four mendicant monastic orders:DominicansFranciscansAugustinian and Carmelites.[3]

Fresh fruit

Most of the following have been added over time, dependant on your pocket book.....and because they are all made in the area.


  • Two kinds of nougat, symbolizing good and evil[1]
    • Black nougat with honey (Nougat noir au miel), a hard candy made with honey and almonds
    • White nougat (Nougat blanc), a soft candy made with sugareggspistachioshoney, and almonds
If you can find some or all of these things, and with your own local products of chocolate and other, try it - on a separate table, it makes a nice change from the rich meat and other Christmas things, and can replace, happily, the nibbles to go with the aperitifs. 
Incidentally the Germans have a much smaller but similar tradition....   German Christmas foods & recipes:
Dresdner Stollen | Glühwein | Lebkuchen | Marzipan | Plätzchen | Pfeffernüsse 
Vanillekipferl | Springerle | Spritzgebäck | Zimtsterne 
Nowadays, they also put marzipan fruits and chocolate items on a large dish apart from the table for eating. Game, Goose, Duck Chicken and more recently Turkey is available, often with red cabbage.
Try it - it's great stuff, and different!

German Christmas traditions | German Christmas carols
Bonne Appétit et Bonnes Fêtes.
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******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011