Christmas Eve and the 13 desserts in Provence

…. Depending on the region there are a few differences for Christmas Eve and the 13 desserts in Provence, but each family prepares a meal for the big supper and especially the famous 13 desserts which will be tasted after Midnight Mass.

Finally, the long awaited evening arrives and while the women busy themselves in the stove, men and children choose under the shed of wood a nice log of cherry or olive tree to make the fire in the chimney. It is the preparation of “cacho fio”

Three times he was made to go around the room, then the master of the house sprinkled him with a glass of vi cuit, and all exclaimed: “Rejoice, gladness, beautiful children! May God fill us with joy! With Christmas everything comes well, God will give us the grace to see next year and, if not more numerous, we can not be less “and the youngest and the oldest deposit the big piece of wood in the hearth And at the first flame all exclaim: “To the blazing log!” ”

The table is then erected: three beautiful tablecloths white and starched are spread (one for the 24 in the evening, the second for the 25 at noon and the third for the evening of December 25) then the three candlesticks (in reference to the Trinity) , The three plates of lentils and the most beautiful tableware of the household. In some families, too, a cover is added: it is the place of the poor or of the one who is alone.

The meal of the Christmas Eve often consists of a celery salad with anchoïade, a dish of carded, spinach with clovisses, snails, cod or muge or even a fish of river Depending on location.

Soon Midnight is going to ring and all hurry to go to the village church to attend mass and admire the nursery (sometimes lively).

Some are very famous such as that of Séguret or Saint Rémy en Provence.

Back the first thing to do is place the baby Jesus in the stable of the crib and enjoy the dessert.

The thirteen desserts (in reference to Jesus and his 12 apostles) are composed of the four beggars (representing the 4 mendicant orders: almonds, walnuts, raisins and dried figs which form the nougat of the poor or capuchin) The flight of the Virgin and Joseph to Egypt, hazelnuts, white and black nougats, quince paste, jam of watermelons, fruits (pears, grapes, melon inscribed, tangerines …), fougasse Or oil pump, a cake (the log), candied fruits of Apt or Calissons of Aix en Provence … ..