The Ariège flake has become THE iconic candy of Ariège. Round in shape, white in color, it recalls the snowflakes that cover the Pyrenees mountains in winter. The candy firm but not hard, is coated with a crunchy meringue that hides a smooth heart hazelnut praline. Handcrafted, each step is done manually. Precision, delicacy and patience guide the actions of the three employees of the small business. The flake can be savored, as an accompaniment to coffee, tea or simply as a treat… As with preparation, time is the secret of a delicious tasting…
In 1993, Gilles Cassignol took over the small confectionery located at the Portes de l'Ariège in the Tour du Crieu. Since then, he has been manufacturing and distributing the Ariège flake. Four days are needed to prepare the treat. The ingredients are few but of high quality: sugar, hazelnuts, some chocolate chips, egg whites and vanilla… and a hell of a knack.
Gilles and his confectioner prepare the praline from hazelnuts which they roast and roast. A chocolate note serves as a binder between the fruit and the sugar and the praline is ready. After drying and cutting with a cookie cutter, each praline is manually plunged twice into the meringue machine. The second bath will give the final appearance to the candy with its beautiful dry white shell.
The confectionery is then wrapped piece by piece, in its translucent paper like a small gift. Throughout the year, 4 pieces leave the preparation laboratory per day.
Where to buy Ariège flakes?
Lightweight, space-saving, the snowflake is the gourmet gift to offer imperatively! It is packaged in boxes of 100 to 300 gr. The price varies according to the weight and the appetite. The sale is mainly done in Ariège and a little in Haute-Garonne.
Bakeries, pastry shops or delicatessens promote the product. The visitor can go to the place of manufacture. A point of sale adjoins the laboratory. To push open the door of the store is to enter the palace of gluttony. This is the opportunity to observe the different stages of production and perhaps share a small tasting to close the meeting.
Did you know ?
The brand and the recipe have never been registered, we sometimes find flakes all over France. Often copied but never equaled, the fondant of the Ariège flakes praline is of an inimitable flavor. Gilles Cassignol and his team keep it a secret.