Thursday, 18 December 2008
A second photo from our aperitif evening. One of the group brought a pumpkin pie, one of the 13 desserts, a tradition in Provence at Christmas..
The "gros souper" the Christmas meal is eaten in the evening of the 24th before going to midnight mass which is a long service. The meal starts with fish or seafood with vegetables. Then the table is cleared and relaid for the 13 desserts.; 13 to represent Christ and his apostles at the Last Supper. Of course the composition of the desserts varies from village to village but there should be:
Dried fruits and nuts to represent the 4 orders of Friars
Black and white nougat
Calissons d'Aix en Provence
Quince paste or jam
Winter fruits including: White grapes,
Winter apples and pears
And to finish La Pompe de Noel a l'huile d'olive, a sweet, flat bread flavoured with orange flower water which should be broken apart not cut.
As a family we cling to the Christmas pudding but the Provencal version is much the healthier option..