These dragées are made with the prized Avola almonds from Sicily and coated with vanilla-flavored sugar. Avola almonds, grown in the town of Avola in Sicily, are famous for their fine taste, lack of bitterness, and their shape, which makes them particularly well suited for coating. These dragées are made by Braquier, in Verdun, which has been making them for over two centuries and has supplied everyone from Napoleon to General de Gaulle. Each dragée is about 0.1 oz. The assorted colors are blue, white, yellow, and orange.
Do you know that a 13th century Verdun apothecary is credited with the idea of coating his pills in sugar? They proved so popular that a grocer did the same with almonds. Louis XIV decreed that dragées be distributed to school children every New Year's Day. Today the French offer dragées to family and friends on special occasions: weddings, baptisms, and the like.
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