The history began in 1920 in the heart of Aix-en-Provence.
Nougat: first love of Roy René
In the heart of Aix-en-Provence, the historic capital of the almond, there was once a small confectioner’s workshop called the “Nougaterie du Roy René”.
In 1920, Ernest Guillet, a passionate artisanal nougat maker, took over the workshop so that he could make his own nougat and calisson recipes there.
He worked with the very best regional produce and stayed true to traditional Provençal methods. The confectionery was an immediate success.
The second generation: the return of the calisson
In 1947, his son René decided to highlight a confectionery cult of the city, and emblem of the Provencal region: the “Provencal hug”, the famous calisson. This confectionery then became the heart of the activity of the house, to the point that the latter renamed itself “Calissons du Roy René” in 1948.
The third generation: a burst of new flavours
In 1980, Anne Guillet, daughter of René, took over the reins of the company and carried on the tradition, ensuring that calisson lovers could continue to enjoy all the flavour and fineness of this Provençal delicacy. She married Maurice Farine, who became CEO of the business, and allows the development of the company.
A new impetus
With almost a century of expertise behind it, Olivier Baussan, child of Provence and founder of L’OCCITANE, Ecomusée de l’Olivier, d’Oliviers & Co and shareholder of delicatessens Maison Brémond 1830. has arrived.
A man with a deep love for Provence, Olivier Baussan has already done much to support the lavender and olive industries. Now he has great ambitions for almonds…and calissons!
CEO since 2014, Laure Pierrisnard promises to the Confectionery of the Roy René a brilliant future of spokesman of taste and flavors of Provence aroud the world.
«I grew up with Calissons d’Aix. They were part of my childhood. I will always associate them with the much-anticipated Christmas Eve meal. Today, the entire team from the Confiserie du Roy René and myself are dedicated to sharing this traditional delicacy with people throughout the world.»
LABELS & CERTIFICATIONS
1996 Les Cézanne du Marketing, Nomination d’honneur « Marketing Grand Public ».
1999 Master of Gold, European General Masters Competition
2003 Calisson Cream is the flavor of the year.
2008 Calissons chips elected flavor of the year.
2009 Trophée International des Chefs d’Or.
2012 Grand prize for SIAL innovation
Calisson is a unique confectionery that has traveled through history. In Aix-en-Provence it is considered as the heritage of the city and more widely as one of the gastronomic emblems of Provence, the Confiserie du Roy René doesn’t take it lightly.
The Calisson d’Aix recipe has remained unchanged since its creation. This complex mixture of finely ground sweet almonds, candied Provençal melon and orange peel, set on a thin layer of wafer and topped with royal icing, has always been made in the same way by confectioners.
THE LEGEND OF ROY RENÉ
Legend has it that the wedding between Jeanne de Laval and the Roy René took place in 1454, in Aix-en-Provence. On this occasion, the Confectioner of the King invented a new sweet for the beautiful but stern Queen. As she tasted this confectionery at the end of the wedding feast, her face lit up with a smile and she asked: “What do you call these delights? Di calin soun (these are little hugs)”, came the reply, in Provencal. And so, the Calisson d’Aix entered into history, whose form evokes the Queen’s smile.
A BLESSED DELICACY
Since 1630, calissons have been blessed every first Sunday in September at the church of Saint Jean de Malte in Aix-en-Provence.
In 1630, the plague, which had ravaged the city and the region, finally ended. As a sign of gratitude, Martelly the assessor, promised to celebrate a thanksgiving service every year, dedicated to the Virgin of the Seds – the Holy Patroness of Aix. It was during one of these services that calissons were handed out.
This tradition continued through the centuries and still brings the people of Aix together today, every first Sunday of September in 13 Desserts the Church of St. Jean de Malte and on the Cours Mirabeau.
A CENTURIES-OLD RECIPE
The Calisson d’Aix recipe has remained unchanged since its creation. This complex
mixture of finely ground sweet almonds, candied Provençal melon and orange peel, laid on a thin layer of wafer and topped with royal icing, has always been made in the same way by confectioners.
Le Roy René confectionery uses only with Mediterranean almonds and especially from Provence, which are tastier. If the local production is not sufficient today to satisfy all the needs, Olivier Baussan has the project to develop more the Provencal almond market as his main priority.
THE CANDIED FRUITS
Melon is the predominant fruit in this recipe (95% of the candied fruit), and produced exclusively in Cavaillon, Provence. Naturally sweet, it contributes to the final texture of the calisson. The melon is then candied in Apt – the world capital of candied fruit since the 14th century.
HONEY OF PROVENCE
Roy René honors the lavender honey IGP Provence, known for its rarity and its typical fruity notes.
It is the emblem of Provence that sublimates the white and unctuous nougat of Roy René. The multi-flower honey of Provence all flowers is married to the almonds to give all the strength and the crunchiness of the black nougat.
THE PROVENCAL ALMOND
Spurred on by Olivier Baussan and Laure Pierrisnard, the Confectionary CEO, a major campaign to encourage the planting of almond trees has been launched.
The intention is simple: to boost the production of almonds in Provence by encouraging farmers to plant new hectares of almond trees, offering them a wide local output thanks to longterm purchasing contracts.