The Champagne area of France is world-known for its champagne, but an edible icon of Reims that predates champagne turns out to be the perfect accompaniment to the bubbly. In the 1690s, prior to champagne producing, bakers in Reims were looking for a creative idea to bake something in their warm ovens between and after baking bread. The bakers came up with the idea to make a dough and bake it then leave it in the oven to dry. The word “biscuit” comes from “bis-cooked” or twice cooked. The biscuits of Reims were very popular and at the turn of the seventeenth century were customarily dunked in red wine.
The present day biscuits are pink in color. Originally they were white. The bakers wanted to flavor the dough with vanilla; however, this created dark specks of vanilla bean in the mixture. To hide the dark flakes, red dye was added, and the pink biscuit of Reims was born. For centuries up to the present, the recipe and the baking method have remained unchanged. What has changed is the favorite wine to dunk a biscuit in. Champagne replaced red wine and today champagne is the favorite beverage to accompany the pink biscuits. The cookie is enhanced by the champagne.
In 1775, the biscuits were served at the coronation of Louis XVI in Reims. Recognizing the quality of the biscuit, this favorite cookie received the royal seal of Charles X in 1825.
The bakery company Maison Fossier has baked the biscuits for centuries. Although the recipe is secret many have discovered it contains eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla flavoring. The Maison Fossier company adds just the right expertise to create the beloved biscuit. The biscuit roses are sold world-wide. Dean and Deluca sell the Maison Fossier Biscuit Roses de Reims in the United States as does Amazon.com.
Although it is a special treat to dunk the biscuit in champagne, the cookies are also a favorite ingredient in other desserts such as Tiramisu. The biscuits absorb a liquid quickly and make a great addition to other recipes. The biscuits can also be ground up and used as a crust for pies and cakes. They can also be chopped and added to a bowl of raspberries or strawberries. The Maison Fossier website has several recipes that use Biscuit Roses de Reims. You can visit Maison Fossier, open Monday thru Friday by appointment. The visit includes a film of the founding of the company in 1756. A tour of the facility and tasting make a memorable experience.
The 7th annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop 2015 (IWINETC) will be held in the city of Reims. The Champagne-Marne Tourism Board, Comité Départemental du Tourisme de la Marne will be the premium sponsor for the event.
IWINETC is the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry. IWINETC 2015 will provide, once again a unique opportunity to build essential contacts, discover a new destination and services key to the future of your business, expand your industry knowledge and maximise your return on time.
There are several ways to participate at IWINETC 2015:
- as a conference delegate >>
- as a wine tourism experience provider at the wine tourism workshop >>
- as a key sponsor >>
- as a sponsor of tours and evening events >>
Article: Terry Sullivan, CWAS WineTrailTraveler.com