I love it when I come across a new local food speciality; one that I didn’t know existed but has been around for the best part of a century delighting all who taste it. This particular discovery is called the Craquelin. It consists of an exquisitely light buttery brioche topped with crunchy caramelised whole almonds, infused with the taste of honey. I stumbled across it while showing a cousin from Australia around its home town Vence. We stopped for coffee and cake little realising as we ordered that we’d found a gastronomic treasure.
In 1927 a baker named Joseph Palanque opened a patisserie in Vence, in the Alpes-Maritimes near Nice. From holidays spent in Brittany he could remember a special cake made with honey and it was in recreating his version of this that he invented the Craquelin Vençois. The recipe has been passed down the generations and it is now Joseph’s grandson, Gérard, who runs the very same patisserie and continues to produce this mythical cake. Vence has become renowned for the Craquelin and many other bakers make their own version of it but if you want to try the original, and most say the best, then head to Patisserie Palanque just off the main square. I’ll certainly be back soon.
Do you have any local food specialities where you are? Do let me know.