Version Française

The Tale of the Fougasse

La FougasseIf you go to Aigues-Mortes, do stop at the baker, at the corner of the market place. For me, as queen of the greedy ones, they make the best Fougasse in the world! But I also really like the one grandma bakes for us every week with so much love and know how. Long ago, every time bread was baked, they added eggs, sugar, orange blossom water or dried fruit to the dough. Around 1880, the sweet fougasse -there is also a savoury one- was traditional offered by the bakers to their clients at Christmas time. It sat on the dessert table, next to the Christmas log, after midnight mass. We then started to eat it for the epiphany, adding a charm to the dough and transforming it into a “galette des rois”, a very old French tradition. But nothing can beat the local fougasse we eat all year round. Softer than a brioche, its light and supple texture, its golden colour, the sprinkle of sugar, the butter and most of all the orange blossom, give it an inimitable and intense flavour… I like it when it just comes out of the oven. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long: after a few days it hardens. So, I dip it into my hot chocolate in the morning, even better than croissants or pains au chocolat, it gives my milk a wonderful flavour and as all the chocolate makers will tell you: chocolate and orange: a marriage made in heaven! However, it is usually served as a pudding or at tea time. When mum and dad have guests, they offer them a glass of Muscat or some Cartagène, two sweet wines from our area. But they seem to also enjoy it with a cup of coffee or a mug of tea…

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