Sunday, March 29, 2015

My patisserie challenge, la cornuelle

French Village Diaries patisserie challenge corneulle des rameaux boulangerie lent Palm Sunday
My patisserie challenge la cornuelle

Welcome to my patisserie challenge. This year I have decided to buy something different from our village boulangerie every Sunday and to enjoy the simple pleasure of treating myself each week. 

Today is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday in Lent, or Rameaux in French. In our local area, the departments of Deux Sevres, Charentes and the Limousin have a speciality treat that is eaten today called the Cornuelle. It is a delicious buttery biscuit, triangular in shape, with frilled edges and a hole. Traditionally it would have been sprinkled with anise seeds, but it is now more common to use red and white aniseed flavoured sweets. Depending on your beliefs there are a couple of stories behind this tradition. In the Christian explanation the three sides of the triangle represent The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit and the hole is where a sprig of Box would have been placed when they were sold at the entrance to church on Palm Sunday.

The other story behind this Easter biscuit really made me smile. There is often a link between religious festivals and pagan beliefs and with this time of year being a celebration of spring and new life it is thought this triangle shaped biscuit represents the female reproductive organs. Oh yes, this really is a polka dot lady-garden biscuit, but it gets better. Available in other boulangeries, but sadly not ours, is the gentleman shaped version, but this is not a flat, decorated biscuit, oh no! The male version can either be a brioche or a cream filled choux bun and going by the pictures in our local paper is a very representative version. I shall leave the rest to your imagination but I have to say only in France could it be traditional to sell a cream filled willy on one of the most religious Sunday's in the Christian calendar. Vivre la France.

Don't forget to join me next week to see my next choice from Bernadette at the boulangerie.

Here are my previous patisserie challenge posts, in case you missed them:

This post has been linked to Paulita's Dreaming of France weekly link up. To read more click here.

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