In Moret-sur-Loing, near Paris, a very famous speciality was created in 1638: the barley sugar (sucre d'orge in French), imagined by sisters from Moret abbey! This shiny and amber stick is made with sugar cook in a barley decoction.
Primitively, sisters used only sugar cane from Spain, replaced then by sugar beet. This barley sugar is available in sticks or hard candies.
And the house where sisters created the recipe still exists, a nice half-timbered house, called St-Jacques' inn: nowadays, it houses the candies shop. And in Moret, you can also visit the museum dedicated to the sugar candy!
King’s Court loved that candy! It was delicious, but also cured stomach and throat pains. A real success... but in 1792, sisters were forced to leave the abbey, because of the Revolution... they left with the candy’s recipe...
Anyway, during the Revolution, people didn’t have the time to eat sweets! But a sister soon reappeared in Moret: sister Félicité. And she had the recipe! Oh, she was very old. And on her bedside, before she died, she gave the recipe to her friend, who gave it to the new Moret’s sisters.
Those nuns left Moret at the end of the 20th century. But before, they gave the recipe to a confectioner of the city, who still carries on tradition!
Sisters came from Moret's Benedictine convent, or convent Notre-Dame-des-Anges. Founded in 1638 by Jacqueline de Beuil and marquis de Varde, her husband, it was destroyed in 1792.
So, religious buildings were raised little by little: young noble ladies could go there to perfect their education. The first abbess was Elisabeth Pidoux, a relation of famous poet Jean de La Fontaine! On her supervision, the delicious barley sugar was created!
And yet, the convent had lot of money problems: debts, always debts... and buildings fell into ruins. Well, too bad, the French Revolution expelled all the nuns, far away from Moret...