Marrons Glacés have always been a favourite gift option for many people across Europe, and Fortnum & Mason is one of the favourite London gift shops to buy them from. The marrons glaces Fortnum & Mason stocks have been gifted countless times over the past centuries. But do you know about your Marrons Glacés history? I will explain it below.
Marrons Glacés: A Brief History
The marron glacé is one of the most appreciated chestnut sweets in the world. Though this is nothing more than a candied or glazed chestnut, common in southern France and northern Italy, it is a luxury product. It's sold in gourmet stores, delicatessen patisseries, sweet shops etc. It is also directly associated with Christmas dinners since it is a typical dessert on the table along with nougat and champagne.
Chestnuts and sugar are used for its preparation, although elements such as cinnamon, vanilla, etc., can be included and, sometimes, they can even be soaked in brandy or other liqueurs.
The beginnings of this product go back to the fruits candied with honey that the Greeks made. They did it by impregnating figs with honey. The complete absorption of the sugar would help in conserving them.
The Romans followed the Greeks. They decided to maintain the tradition of impregnating the fruit and spread it throughout all the conquered territories.
In the Middle Ages, medieval monasteries decided to keep this technique a secret. The aim was to prevent it from becoming popular, since consuming sugar was seen as sinful. However, in the Renaissance, the technique resurfaced and Florentine and Venetian ladies could once again enjoy these delicacies.
In the 16th century, the chef Pierre de la Varenne presented this delicious chestnut dessert to King Louis XVI for the first time at Versailles. The first company to export marrons glacés was opened in Ardèche, under the leadership of Clément Faugier.
Nowadays, this brand continues to produce marrons glacés, following the same standards as when they started.
Another story attributes the creation of marrons glacés to the city of Lyon, in France. There, they began to preserve different foods in honey or syrup to preserve them, and thus be able to survive the cold winter.
Italy also claims the first marrons glacés, or "marroni canditi". It is said that they were invented in France, but that the technique was perfected in Italy. Today, there are new exporting countries, such as Portugal and Spain, specifically, Ourense.
Why Should You Gift Marrons Glacés?
Gifting marrons glacés in the UK is a wonderful idea. You can find marrons glaces Fortnum & Mason and even Waitrose. They can be used as corporate Christmas gifts or any other gift. Not only in the UK, but almost the whole of Europe has also welcomed this product as one of its longest-standing popular gifting options.
Fortnum & Mason has always been a top name in the European gift industry because of their quality gifts and experience (over 300 years). And though their marrons glacés are excellent, their price reflects it. And though Waitrose's are cheaper, they also look like they are.
Lavolio Boutique Confectionery, on the other hand, combines the best of both worlds. They are more affordable than Fortnum & Mason's, maintaining their excellent quality. They make them by hand in Italy, they come in beautiful metal tins that can be reused.
The festive season is coming up in a few weeks. Will you gift someone this sweet edible gift, or try it yourself?