The dragée from Verdun: from the spicy medicine to the candy

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Illustration picture - ©Alexandre Duret-Lutz / CC-BY-SA Illustration picture - ©Alexandre Duret-Lutz / CC-BY-SA

What’s this?

In Verdun, the dragée ("sugared almond") is available in every colours: golden yellow, lilac, violet, carmine red, orange or royal blue... Braquier's shop in Verdun makes the real traditional dragée. What are the ingredients? An almond under a shell made of sugar syrup... Almond taste explodes in mouth. Yum, delicious!

The little history

The dragée as a medicine

Our little dragées from Verdun exist since the Middle-Ages. Originally, apothecaries made them. Oh, a medicine more than a candy, so? Yes! They gave a fresh breath and helped along the digestion. Their flavour, at that time? Spices or acidulous fruits: anise, cinnamon, coriander, lemongrass...

A royal gift

Since 1500, we found dragées in all Europe. People gave them to royal hosts when they came in Verdun: duke of Angoulême (Charles IX and his mistress Marie Touchet’s son) received more than 100 boxes, in 1634! They even gave them on special occasions, marriages or baptisms: the dragée was very useful for sterility!

Then, "King’s confectioners" diplomas were given to apothecaries who made dragées, in the 17th century. But after the French Revolution, the production fell. They used to make dragées by hand, but a man called Lizer decided, in 1850, to industrialize the process. And the production perked up again!

And also!