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Mandeldragees aus Verdun (Seite 2 von 2)

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Während meines Aufenthaltes im Hattonchâtel-Schloss in Frankreich gelang es mir, eine private Führung durch die Fabrik des größten Drageeherstellers in Verdun, Dragées Braquier, zu organisieren.
Seite1  2  

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Herr Heusele selbst denkt, dass das interessanteste Produkt, das Braquier herstellt, die Grenzen des guten Geschmacks überschreitet. Trotzdem verkaufen wir etwa 1000 Schokoladenhülsen pro Jahr - und die Leute lieben sie. Es werden nur etwa 200 exportiert, hauptsächlich nach Großbrittanien. Wir dürfen sie nicht mehr in die USA exportieren.

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Das hier ist kein qualitätsloser chinesischer Schund. Jede Artilleriehülse hat eine Basis aus Messing und ein handgemachtes Gewinde. 

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Diese Frau baut die Basis für jede einzelne Hülse zusammen... 

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...während sie den Baumwollfaden mit einer Kammer verbindet, die mit nicht-rauchendem Pulver, wie das für Pistolen, gefüllt ist. 

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Die Artilleriehülsen aus Schokolade kommen in drei Standardversionen: "10", "15", oder "20", je nach dem, was sich in ihnen befindet. Sie funktionieren ausgezeichnet, die einzige Beschwerde, die wir manchmal erhalten, ist, dass in einer "20"-Hülse manchmal nur 19 Sachen drin sind, sagt Heusele scherzhaft. Sie kosten entweder 78 € oder 108 € pro Stück. Manche Menschen bestellen sie gesondert und bitten darum, dass man Autoschlüssel oder Hochzeitsringe in ihnen verstecke. Ich frage mich ob das in diesem Zeitalter der erhöhten Sprittpreise eine gute Idee ist. 

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Die Artilleriehülsen aus Schokolade werden auf den Kopf gestellt, mit Süßigkeiten oder Spielereien gefüllt. Am Ende platziert man den Explosionsmechanismus. 

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Man findet wahrscheinlich auch andersweitig  ähnliche, aber weniger schmackhaftere Hochzeitsglocken - aber Herr Heussele besteht darauf, dass Braquier derartige Dragees bereits 1869 verkaufte. Trotzdem dürften die Begriffe Verdun und Artilleriehülse sogar jemandem etwas sagen, der von Geschichte kaum Ahnung hat. Denn bei Verdun fand eine der größten Schlachten des Ersten Weltkrieges statt.   

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Für die Besucher, die gerne daran erinnert werden möchten, wie vergänglich das Leben ist, empfehle ich, die Straße, in der die Baquier-Fabrik liegt, drei Kilometer runterzufahren um zum Beinhaus von Douamont zu gelangen. 1916 war eine Rekordernte für den Schnitter - die Kämpfte bei Verdun bedeuteten das Ende für 300.000 Soldaten, die man später nicht mehr identifizieren konnte. Pétain, der Verdun mit Erfolg verteidigte, stiftete dieses Beinhaus in 1920, damit die Familien derer, die der Sense des Schnitters nicht entkommen konnten, wenigstens ein Grab haben, an dem sie weinen konnten. 

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Später wurde ein Kappelle gebaut für jeden einzelnen der 52 Sektoren der Schlacht von Verdun und in einer großen Kirche untergebracht. Die Kirche hat die Form eines schwarzen Oberschenkelknochens mit einer Artilleriehülse als Glockenturm. Man sagt, dass die Kirche so entworfen wurde, damit sie aussieht wie ein gigantisches Schwert, das in die Erde stößt. Dies hier ist kein schöner Anblick, und Kriegstreiber sollten diesem Platz einen Besuch abstatten, damit sie sehen, auf was Krieg immer hinaus läuft. Das Licht im Beinhaus ist das Produkt des roten Buntglases. Ich habe nichts an der Farbe verändert, damit man einen Eindruck davon bekommt, was man an so einem Ort empfindet, und wie es ist, sich zwischen den sterblichen Überresten von 300.000 Menschen zu befinden.

 Während des Ersten Golfkrieges 1991 interviewte das französische Fernsehen Antoine Pinay, einen ehemaligen französischen Finanzminister und Veteran des Ersten Weltkrieges. Der Journalist woltle ihn dazu bewegen, diesen Krieg zu segnen und zu sagen, der Krieg sei gerecht. Ich erinnere mich immer noch, wie er seine Ärmel hochkrempelte. Sehen Sie, sagte er, während er eine Narbe an seinem rechten Arm zeigte, ich wurde während des Ersten Weltkrieges verwundet. In meinem Handgelenk befindet sich immer noch ein Stück Schrapnell. Heute bin ich 100 Jahre alt, und es habe jeden Tag meines Lebens deswegen gelitten. Also, Madame, wünsche ich niemandem Krieg.

 

Man kann Dragées Braquier in Verdun besuchen, an der öffentlichen Fabriksführung teilnehmen oder einfach den Fabriksshop plündern: 

Dragées Braquier
http://www.dragees-braquier.com
email
50, rue du Fort de Vaux
F-55100 Verdun
France


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53 Kommentare

  • #1
  • Von: Ariun
Wow. Merci beaucoup, FX. I await the next installment with great impatience!
What an inspirational post. I thank you for TWO lessons I have learned today. One of candy, and of the impact of wars. Funny how the two are linked by a tragic point in history.

I wouldn't mind getting my grubby cook's fingers on those candies to give them a try either.

Thank you for a thought-provoking post.
You know, those gold and silver coated almonds are very commonly used in Greece for memorial services (!). Anyway I enjoyed your Isanbul post too and if you ever travel to Athens please contact me. I would be happy to show you around.
Francois, what a way to show opposite poles of reality... The sweetness and pleasure of life, as depicted by the candies, and the bitterness of war and death in the Verdun countryside.

Looking forward to new posts about your culinary experiences.They complete the day for me.
I love sugared almonds so much - thank you for such an interest ing post. My son is studying the war in history at the moment so I will share you post with him too. Thank for you adding the extra photos.
  • #6
  • Beantworted von fx
Diane, thanks for dropping by! A visit to Verdun will reset everybody's clock as far as war is concerned. I'm glad there is something for our generations to see of that abysmal war, now that all those who saw it have gone!
  • #7
  • Beantworted von fx
Feyoh, thanks for your kind words! I'm glad that you could see this with my eyes, this is the paradox in Verdun, sweet candies manufactured in a place known for some of the most abject and useless butchery. But lovely people and great confectionery!
  • #8
  • Beantworted von fx
Johanna, thanks for your comment, I didn't know that such almonds were used for funeral services! Do they place one in the deceased's mouth so that he can pay his fare on Charon's ferry, like back in the days? I would very much like to visit Greece - what do you think could be made into an article on FXcuisine in Athens? Would it be possible for me to see the kitchens of one of these monasteries on a hill?
  • #9
  • Beantworted von fx
Jason, I've been eating dragées for a solid 2 weeks now and still not bored!
  • #10
  • Beantworted von fx
Ariun, the next Hattonchâtel installment will be the redcurrant jam, then on with the medieval banquet!
What amazing decadence!
How cool would it be to give your wife a box of these for valentines day?
Ride it like you stole it
  • #12
  • Von: trish
Another fabulous article. I really look forward to your posts - (and now I'm late for work - again :))

Trish
  • #13
  • Von: Mary Sanavia
Hi! All your articles are so interesting and have such beautiful pictures!. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this wonderful places with all of us. The last one (kebabs) had some beautiful,mouthwatering pictures, I hope I can go there someday and I will know where and what to eat! I love Baklavas,so I loved that picture the most. (unreal green pistachios!).I'll be waiting for your next post.
  • #14
  • Von: Sarah
Did you know? Silver and gold dragées are illegal in California! I guess the metals they use have tiny, insignificant trace amounts of heavy metals in them that wouldn't harm a baby, but it's enough for our government to say we can't have them. So it's yet another thing I have to be naughty and have a friend send to me if I ever want to use them.
First you hit me with the beautiful candies. Then you ever so gently hit me again with the graves of the soldiers.  Two powerful emotions in one post!  I am floored.
  • #16
  • Von: Jason
The Douaumont ossuary is incredible. The French have honored their dead very well. Thanks for such an enlightening post!
What a fascinating article!  Great photos too!  We, Italians give these as favors for many special events, especially weddings. I still have my little bunch of almonds from my wedding over 20 years ago.  The funny thing is, I don't ever remember anyone actually eating them. ;)
  • #18
  • Von: Laura
I always hated sugar-coated almonds.  Is it possible that I just never had a good one, like those from dragées Braquier?
What an amazing article. I've had those almonds in the US, they were called "jordan almonds", and not very good. These look like they taste amazing, as well as the cocoa coated ones. (which intrigue me more).
  • #20
  • Von: Ivan Seligman
I love your thoughtful posts, and clean photographs. Who else could link candies and war. Glad the latter was not glamorized. It saddens me every day I read about our young men maimed and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. Make candy, not war?

Thank you for showing me a part of the world, both cooler and less hurricane prone than semitropical Florida!
Ivan
  • #21
  • Von: wabgalant
Thats wonderful.
  • #22
  • Von: Stephen
Bravo!  Wonderful article!

Two quick questions:

1.  Any links to video of your appearance on French TV?

2.  Do the chocolate artillery shells actually explode?  Are they classified as a novelty firework or something similar?  What happens to the contents?  
  • #23
  • Beantworted von fx
Stephen, I can send you the links if you want. The chocolate shells are what English speakers call, I think, "party poppers", they do explode and throw a shower of cheap gadgets and expensive dragées all over the table. I wanted to try and photograph one exploding, but at €80 a pop and 5 tries to get one right, that's more gadgets than I need!
  • #24
  • Beantworted von fx
Ivan, thanks for visiting! Ah yes, war, well during WWI the young men did not last very long, in some battles tens of thousands died within hours of starting their tour of duty, and chopped down to pieces by 50 caliber machine guns. Nothing like the wars we see today, as horrible as these are too. Make candies, not war, that's my motto.
  • #25
  • Beantworted von fx
Laura, these almonds have a very delicate taste, first you suck it for a moment, then you give in and crunch them and your mouth is filled with delicate almond flavor. Or you get one with toasted-and-caramelized almond bits and the taste is that much more intense. Or one with chocolate and you have to close your eyes by fear of crying with delight. We also make the chocolate ones in Switzerland, actually you can make them at home, I'll try to post an article some day.
  • #26
  • Beantworted von fx
Laura, where did come from the best sugar-coated almond you ever tasted (but hated)? I fear there are many classes of these candies out there, but as Oscar Wilde, I have very simple tastes: the best always satisfies me.
  • #27
  • Beantworted von fx
Susan, but you should throw rices grains at weddings and *eat* the sugar-coated almonds. The Romans believed these increased fertility - lots of kids who will have their own wedding one day!
  • #28
  • Beantworted von fx
Jason, indeed this ossuary is awesome, and what's more, circumstances have made that Germans and French are buried in it, I believe, because they could not always distinguish the bones. President Kohl and Mitterand chose this very spot in 1984 to hold hands for their common memorial day honoring the people who gave their life for that delirious war.
  • #29
  • Beantworted von fx
Nate, I'm glad that this sweet, then bitter article pleased you!
  • #30
  • Beantworted von fx
Sarah, ah but in California they will eventually ban everything. Foie gras, bottled water, now silver dragées. And I'm sure you get 3 to 5 in the state penitentiary if you eat them across state lines. You deserve better politicians!
  • #31
  • Beantworted von fx
Mary, thanks for visiting my site, I'm glad my articles gave you mouthwater ideas for future travels!
  • #32
  • Beantworted von fx
Trish, one last gluttonous look at my blog and off to work!
  • #33
  • Beantworted von fx
Dave, you can also get the chocolate ones at Auer in Geneva and in other places, probably in Paris too and maybe mail order. Definitely an elegant Valentine present!
  • #34
  • Von: Kat
Only the shameless conspicuous consumer idiots in a place like Dubai that is literally built on slave labor and indentured servitude would buy something as stupid as gilded almonds in jewelry boxes.  No man should be forced to spend his money any certain way but he is still open for criticism and these people are should have it heaped on them.
  • #35
  • Von: Deborah Stratmann
I did like this article ... and the wonderful photos. We are great fans of the almond dragées. I try always to keep some on hand for the young boy who lives downstairs. I think he will be interested to see how they are made.

Thank you,
dws
  • #36
  • Beantworted von fx
Deborah thanks for your visit and glad to hear you found the visit and behind-the-scenes interesting!
  • #37
  • Beantworted von fx
"Kat" from Miami uses my blog to flush the anger and bitterness she's got inside, insulting the people of Dubai. Well, I am not a psychiatrist so I'll limit myself to answering the arguments she used in the self-cleaning.
1) Is Dubai built on "slave labor"? Well if we applied the same strict moral criterias as she seems to use to other cities, what would people think of Shanghai? Or Washington, they certainly had real slaves there? I am not sure how people in Dubai would say, but down here we might say "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?".
2) About the gilded almonds being "stupid" and a sign of "shameless conspicuous consumer idiots", I might point out that the expression was coined by Thorstein Veblen in a book which I warmly recommend but which spoke mainly about America if my memory serves me right. There are far more people in Paris eating gilded chocolates than those in Dubai who eat imported French gilded almonds. What does it matter to you in they eat gold rather than having it, like you,  on the connectors of your cellular phone's computer chips?
This is a great photo essay of your visit!
  • #39
  • Beantworted von fx
Shari thanks for visiting and I hope to see you back!
  • #40
  • Von: Betsi
Dear FX,

Isn't Dubai a hot tourist spot?,I believe the reason why these Verdun's Almonds are being exported there is because of the higly demand of luxury and fancy items from around the world by TOURISTS, this is my opinion, nothing to do if Dubai natives or residents are eating gold instead of having it.
How unfortunate some people use your blog to spit anger.
Thank you for sharing this!  I am keen to try making my own medieval comfits, which are done with the same technique as sugared almonds, but with tiny spices instead, so seeing the factory photos is very inspirational.

Kiriel
Thoroughly entralled by the series, Francois.
  • #43
  • Beantworted von fx
Cynthia, thanks for visiting and on Friday I'll post the red currant deseeded with quills article, I just took a few more pictures of the jam, really delicious!
  • #44
  • Von: Patrick
Hi,
I think you have made a small semantic error. Nothing major, just a slip of the brain!

you have written "Almonds that DERIVE from the established standards of physical beauty are mercilessly sent to be crushed and caramelized into nougatine."

I believe you intended to write "Almonds that DEVIATE from the established standards..."

Please don't include this as a comment.

Love the recipes and photographs!
I just loved your 'almond' story!  Thanks for all the photos.  I must post your site on mine..I just need the time..oh heck, I'll do it when I finish this.  This is a new website, gave you my old one, but this one is advertised in my ol' home town's newspaper, so I'll make a new webpage:  'Wonderful Websites', and I'll put your's at the top.

Re: Dubai

Friends of ours live & work in Dubai.  Yes, it is fancy, fancy there!  It is also very, very hot.  We have not visited there; our visits are strickly to Florida and the Caymans, with no desire to visit Dubai.  Loads of tourist there, and they all have the big bucks to spend, so gold almonds would peak their palette.

Take care. Your efforts are appreciated!
  • #46
  • Beantworted von fx
Eleanor, thanks for linking to FXcuisine, much appreciated! I myself hope to visit Dubai once, seems a thrilling place. But for now, scorched crane seems to be the specialty, I'll wait for the building boom to subside...
  • #47
  • Beantworted von fx
Patrick, thanks for the tip, unfortunately my trusted English editors are on vacation and more than the occasional typo escaped me. Do not hesitate to let me know if you find more!
  • #48
  • Von: chris
Hello fx
lovely post. except for the bomb. I have one small gripe. under one of the photos you write
would it be too much to ask that you re-phrase it to read  
Ithink i understand what you were expressing. But I doubt you mean to say that every single person of Chinese heritage in the world works to a low standard. I certainly do not.
is that what you meant?

a slightly wounded, proudly Chinese, pretty regular visitor to this site. Chris
  • #49
  • Beantworted von fx
Dear Chris, I am very sorry if you felt slightly offended at my mention of a low-quality Chinese goods. I do not mean to say, at all, that Chinese people do not produce high-quality goods, and myself I drink every day Chinese tea, that's the only tea I would ever drink. I do not know much about China but it is clear to me at least that in the matter of tea nothing beats the refinement of China. And I'm sure many other things are of the same level, however you must agree that in the last 10 years China has become the huge economic power that it is by exporting mass products at the most competitive price possible. Inevitably, most of those products are not in the upper end of the market in terms of quality. But I do not mean to say that the Chinese cannot produce high quality products - I know it for a fact that they do some of the most refined teas and teapots in the world, and that can only be the tip of the iceberg I can see from my corner of the world! So, once again I apologize if this has offended readers of Chinese descent.
  • #50
  • Von: Catherine
FX, although I am as taken aback by Kat's vehemence as anyone, there may be something to be said for the concept of evolving social mores, and while slavery was acceptable 300 years ago, times have changed. Nor is it hypocritical of us to realize the wrongdoing going on there now--I don't hold modern Germans responsible for the Holocaust, so I don't believe I should be held responsible for my ancestors' views on slavery.

I don't know why she saw fit to sour your article because of a fleeting reference to Dubai though, that was just rude.
  • #51
  • Beantworted von fx
Catherine, I am not one to cast the first stone, but my feeble capacity does not grasp how slavery was "acceptable" 300 years ago but not any more today. "Accepted", sure, but "acceptable" implies a constant moral standard that, given past circumstances, made it OK. The original poster commented on Dubai being a city built on slave labor, and she's from the US, so I think it's fair to point to her that she does not need to go as far as Dubai to point a finger at a city "built by slaves". Obviously I am not the one pointing the finger. But let's leave it at that and return to being slaves only of our passion for food.
  • #52
  • Von: Howard
I lived quite near this factory when I was a child back in the early 1960's. Whenever I stopped by the workers would let me have a look around and then fill my smock pockets with coated almonds. Of course the factory was not quite as clean back then.
I also remember the chocolate Bomb shells being sold in the local sweet shops. The biggest one came with a screen you set around it for safety. I always wanted one for my birthday but we could never afford any of them.
Thanks for the memory nudge.
  • #53
  • Von: GERMAN GARZON
Interesante el lujo e historia de esta empresa  solo que nosotros apenas comenzamos y esperaremos permanecer en el tiempo con buenos productos Soy de Colombia y quisiera saber  en cual pais producen almendras  que podamos importar a un precio economico ya que nuestros productos los ubicamos en mercados populares   
gracias por su articulo y por cu colaboracion.

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