A sweet touch of France at Calissons by Gilles in Orange County, California

What is a calisson? A calisson is a traditional French candy with a smooth, yellow paste of candied melons, oranges, and ground almond topped with a thin layer of royal icing. Origins date back to the 12th century where “Calisone” appeared in Padua, Italy. Calisone is a cake made with flour and almonds. In the 13th century, calissons were distributed during religious ceremonies. Calissons were made by monasteries in the Italian peninsula. The calisson made its appearance in Provence in the 16th century. Aix, a trading town, began to specialize in the trade of almonds. Pastry chefs of the time became creative by mixing candied fruit with the almond and the calisson of today was born.

Gilles Cailleaux graduated from CERIA in Anderlecht, Belgium and continued his “Tour de France” working his way through Paris, Lyon, and Clermont-Ferrand as a pastry chef, chocolatier, and candy maker. Chef Gilles lived in Aix-en-Provence for 10 years. As with most, he fell in love the amazing colors and flavors of Provence. His travels led him to Los Angeles, where he met his wife, worked with Michel Richard (pastry chef of the stars), and then became the Pastry Chef for the Hyatt Regency at LAX. His 25 years of experience brought him back to his roots and Calissons by Gilles was born.

The Mediterranean Flavors: Box of 12 is the best way to sample. They are aligned beautifully in the box like expertly laid tiles. They include the Almond Classic, Rose Petal, Orange Blossom, and Lavender. Start with the Almond Classic to taste the original classic flavor of a calisson. The aroma is almond in nature. The texture is a cross between a dense cake and marzipan. The flavor is sweet almond along with hints of cantaloupe and orange. The royal icing adds a crunch texture as you bite into it. The blueish purple calisson is Lavender. The lavender aroma is apparent with subtle lavender flavor. The orange calisson is Orange Blossom. The orange aroma is apparent with stronger orange flavor as you bite into it. The pink calisson is Rose Petal. The rose aroma is subtle with stronger rose petal flavor.

If you’re entertaining or looking for a unique gift, Calissons by Gilles is only a few clicks away.

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