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The seasonal confection originated in southern France and northern Italy, where chestnut trees are plentiful. Prior to the Crusades, there was no sugar in Europe. Sugar cane is native to Southeast Asia, from which it made its way to the Middle East, where it was discovered by the European crusaders. So the process of candying fruits in sugar syrup had to wait for the return of the crusaders to Europe.
The first candied chestnut confections seem to appear at the beginning of the 15th century in the Piedmont region of Italy, among other places. The earliest written recipe is from the court of Louis XIV at the end of 17th century. In 1882 in the Ardèche département of south-central France, the first factory was built with the technology to produce marrons glacés industrially. However, many of the nearly twenty steps necessary from harvest to finished product are still performed manually, which is one reason why the treats are so pricey.
Corsiglia, our candied chestnut confectioner, distinguishes itself by wrapping them up in pairs in a tulle muslin that prevents the fruits from absorbing too much sugar. Thanks to its exclusive vacuum-packaging, you can enjoy fresh ‘marrons glacés’ the whole year!
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