The Thirteen Christmas Desserts

In Provence, the traditional Christmas meal is called le gros souper (the big supper). It ends with a ritual number of 13 desserts symbolizing Christ and his 12 apostles. The deserts must be served all at the same time and each guest must taste each one of them. They consist of pastry and fruit:dried fruit called les quatre mendiants (the four beggars), by analogy with the habits of the mendicant orders: raisins for the Dominicans, dried figs for the Franciscans, nuts for the Augustines, and almonds for the Carmelites;
• the pompe à huile (pastry made with olive oil);
• light and dark fudge;
• candied or fresh fruit, particularly apples and grapes saved especially for Christmas;
• candies like calissons (marzipan) or biscotins (cookies) from Aix;
• and, more recently, the Yule log.

CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network
CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network

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