How a story of gory martyrdom gave the inspiration for the brioche from Saint-Génix

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The brioche - ©²°¹°° / Public domain The brioche - ©²°¹°° / Public domain
Speciality Miracle Martyr

What’s this?

Here’s a round brioche, a yummy cake, full of... pink pralines! An emblematic culinary speciality of Savoie (Eastern France)...

The little history

A gory story

The tradition says that saint Agathe, a martyr born in Italy (Sicily) in the 3th century, rejected a Roman consul who tried to seduce her. Hurt, angry, this one took revenge: he tortured her, to make her renounce to her Christian faith…

At the height of horror, he cut her breast! But Agathe had super powers: those one immediately grew again… miracle!! And yet, she had to die… When she get up on the stake, a violent earthquake happened, killing all his torturers…

From the story to the brioche

When Sicily was annexed by Savoie in 1713, people heard about the legend, and adopted Agathe as their new patron saint. So, every year, for Agathe’s birthday (February 5th), they made round cakes… with a breast shape!

The brioche’s current recipe comes from a pastry-cook from Saint-Génix, Pierre Labully. He created in 1880 a brioche made of leaven, stuffed with pralines and flavoured with orange water. The brioche was first called ″Labully’s cake″ and it was a smash hit… We still can find brioches today in Saint-Génix (Savoie), based on Labully’s recipe!


And also!