All posts tagged: France

The evolution of Gingerbread

In the United States we know gingerbread at Christmas made into a gingerbread man, a dark cookie sweetened with molasses.  But in Europe it takes all kinds of shapes.  It is thought to have originated in Basel Switzerland as Basler Lackerli, a spiced bread sweetened with honey and kirsch and with hazelnuts and spices added.  That sounds like a great addition to the Christmas tradition.  In France it is known as pain d’epices, or spice bread.

Almonds at Weddings

Candied almonds have historically been given as wedding gifts or served to the guests as wedding favors.  In France, Calissons d’Aix en Provence are said to have been served at the wedding of the king in the 1400s.  The Italians serve five almonds to signify five wishes for the bride and groom –  health, wealth, happiness, children and long life.  known by many names – dragee, confetti, Jordan Almonds, mlabas, koufeta – they are popular at many American weddings as well.

Strasbourg France

Our romantic cruise down the Rhine was now abruptly over due to the crash.  There was a gash in the side of the Viking River Cruise boat, and it could not continue.  We were now in Strasbourg and were about to spend a few days there.  But, if you are going to be stuck someplace in Europe, Strasbourg is a pretty good place.  The city is gorgeous.  We continued on with trying the local food and wandering around the town.  The leaves were changing color and the town is surrounded by a canal, bordered by half timber houses and lots of trees, so it looks beautiful in the fall.