Wait, hush, hush, listen… I hear little bidos gurgling! Well, are we really hungry? It’s quite normal, the word “dessert” makes you want to run to one of the best pastry shops in Paris to have all the sweet things in the window pour down your throat. But while you quietly savor these little treasures, let me tell you about the origin of their sweet names. If after that, you don’t pass your CAP Pâtisserie hands down, I don’t understand.
If it already existed in the Middle East, the macaroon only appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages when it landed in Italy (shouting “Ma quééé” according to legend). At the time, it was called “maccherone” or “macaroni”. It was then Catherine de Medici who, during the Renaissance, introduced it to France when she came to France. The macaroon is then called “macheries”, which means “round cake” in old French. And one thing leading to another, it ended up taking the name of macaroon, which is still more practical so that we know if we are talking about pasta or cake.
2. The clafoutis
When it comes to clafoutis, there are two schools (not literally, it would be crazy to have two schools just specializing in clafoutis). According to some specialists, the name comes from the Occitan “clafir” which means “garnish” or “filling”. But according to others, it comes rather from the Latin “clavum fingere” which means “to drive a nail”. Because the little cherries seem all planted, do you get it?
The origin of the madeleine most likely dates back to 1755. At that time, the King of Poland Stanislas Leszczynski had a little party at the Château de Commercy but no luck, there was no dessert because of a argument in the kitchen. A chance for our dear Stanislas, a young servant, Madeleine Paulmier offers to make her grandmother’s cake recipe and bingo. The king, a little too fan of the dessert, decides to give it the name of Madeleine de Commercy. Obviously, other sources evoke a different origin, but since this story is really cabbage, we will say that it is the official version.
4. Far Breton
Originally, this Breton cake, much less fatty than kouign-aman, was called “farz forn”, literally “far au four” in Breton. Made of buckwheat flour, this cake was called “far” because this word meant “spelt” in Latin and by descent “wheat”, which is therefore the main ingredient of Breton far. They have Breton far, long live the Bretons.
5. Rum baba
The main origin of this cake is the word “baba” which means “grandmother” in Polish, the country where the rum baba comes from. The addition of rum was then made in the 18th century by the action of King Stanislas of Poland (again him, the little glutton) who, finding his cake a little dry, sprinkled it with wine. Pastry chefs then took up this idea and used other alcohols such as rum. I really want to see what it would look like with some mint lozenge.
6. Pound cake
This easiest cake also has a very easy peasy name. We just call it pound cake because you need equal amounts of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar to make it. After all, why make it complicated?
7. The Nun
This delicious pastry (with chocolate, I don’t want to hear anything) was created in 1855 in the Parisian café “Chez Frascati”, on the boulevard Montmartre. And as proof that the simplest ideas are often the best, the creator decided to give his cake a name inspired by the shape it had: that of the outfits of the nuns. Malinx.
There are people who really don’t look for noon at two o’clock, nor at three o’clock. And the creators of the mille-feuille are part of it because they just renamed their creation according to what they saw when cooked, aka mille-feuille. Too smart kwa.
9. Le Saint-Honoré
Attention prank, Honoré is not the guy at the origin of this dessert. The latter was indeed created by Auguste Julien, an employee of the Chiboust bakeries and pastry shops, in the 19th century. And the guy, like a nice and grateful guy, decided to name his creation in homage to the bishop of Amiens, Saint-Honoré, who became the patron saint of bakers. Well, it must also be said that the bakery where Auguste Julien worked was located rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, obviously that helps a little.
Profiteroles, which are among the favorite desserts of the French, date back to long before the dinosaurs. And no, I’m taking you on a boat, in fact they date from the 16th century, when servants were often rewarded with “small profits”. The latter were nothing more than small dumplings of bread cooked under the ashes that were garnished with vegetables or meat to accompany a soup. When the sweet profiterole (in cabbage mode) that we know was invented in the 19th century by Antoine Carême, it was not too difficult to find a small name for it.
11. The Paris-Brest
The Paris-Brest will seem much less exotic to you after reading my explanation. The name of this pastry simply refers to the Paris-Brest cycling race, because the shape of this cake looks a lot (or not) like that of a bicycle. A circle with a hole what.
In the 1970s, pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre, head of catering for Air France lines, invented a pastry with layers of meringues and chocolate mousse. To honor the new French plane in service from his box, he decided to baptize his pastry Le concorde. No, but it’s okay big ass lickers there, we don’t bother you ???
13. Tarte tatin
So I know, you’re going to tell me that the tarte tatin was invented by chance by the Tatin sisters when they baked their tart upside down after forgetting to put the dough in. I would have liked to avoid disappointing you, but I have to: this story is totally bogus and was invented by the food critic Maurice-Edmond Sailland. In truth, this pie was a specialty of Sologne, in the Loir-et-Cher and the Tatin sisters simply helped to popularize it. Not enough to make a big deal out of it (pie lol).
14. The Nun’s Pets
This little donut probably owes its name to a real fart, that of a nun from the Abbey of Marmoutier named Agnès who, while farting during the preparation of a meal, would have made a spoonful of choux pastry fall into the fat. hot. Obviously, I really want to believe this story, but I also have to inform you that this dessert could have another origin (under the name of peace-of-nun): the legend says that a nun would have found peace by offering the recipe for this dessert to a neighboring and enemy convent. And you, are you more of a fart or a fight?
At the end of the 19th century, the Swiss pastry chef Lasne revived the fashion for financiers (or rather Visitandines, as it was called at the time because of the sisters of the Visitandines convent who had created this dessert). His shop being located next to the Paris stock exchange, Lasne was very quickly overwhelmed by financiers who threw themselves on his cakes like right-wingers on tax evasion. A great marketing stunt that does not stop there since Lasne quickly changed the traditional oval shape of this dessert for rectangles reminiscent of gold bars, giving birth to financiers.
Two legends have clashed since the dawn of time over the origin of opera. The first suggests that it would be Andrée Gavillon, wife of a pastry chef, who would have given this name to this cake in homage to the dancers who came to the shop. The other legend tells that this dessert bore this name because of its resemblance to the scene of the Garnier opera. Kinda hard to see how a little flour mixed with chocolate looks like a dance scene, but I trust you after all.
17. Peach Melba
At the end of the 19th century, the pastry chef Auguste Escoffier fell in love with the vocal cords of singer Nellie Melba. So hop, neither one nor two, he prepares a fifou dessert in his honor and gives him his name. Boriiiing, buy her flowers instead mate, that’s how you get bitches actually.
Antoine Carême (him again, stoooop, the guy is actually too perfect) is also behind this pastry. Finally, let’s say he remixed it a bit, because before, it was rolled in almonds and called “duchess bread”, which was nice too. If this dessert bears such a name, it is simply because it is so good that it is eaten in a flash (and its icing shines like lightning at the same time). Yes, it was no more stupid than that.
19. Chocolate truffles
We owe this little Christmas happiness to the great Dufour de Chambéry who came from Dunkirk (well, I don’t know, I don’t know him). Having run out of chocolate candies, this confectioner decided to roll small balls of chocolate and vanilla cream in cocoa. And frankly, he did well. Initially named chocolate droppings, which is still not too enticing, truffles were quickly renamed by their current name because of their resemblance to the mushroom.
Do not see any, but none, relationship with the balls. These donuts owe their name to the translation of the regional Arpitan word “bunyi” which means “donut”. Don’t tell me it touches you a bug without moving the other hihi (promise, I’ll stop).