The thirteen desserts in the Provence
The thirteen desserts in the Provence
Les 13 desserts de la tradition de Noël en Provence
Les 13 desserts de la tradition de Noël en Provence

The thirteen desserts (Occitan: lei tretze dessèrts) are the traditional dessert foods used in celebrating Christmas in the French region of Provence. The "big supper" (le gros souper) ends with a ritual 13 desserts, representing Jesus Christ and the 12 apostles. The desserts always number thirteen but the exact items vary by local or familial tradition.[1] The food traditionally is set out Christmas Eve and remains on the table three days until December 27.[2]

Dried fruit and nuts

The first four of these are known as the "four beggars" (les quatre mendiants), representing the four mendicant monastic orders: Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.[3]

Fresh fruit


French wedding foodways

Bayle St. John, writing in The Purple Tints of Paris (vol. 2) "The dishes are substantial; soup, boiled beef, veal, salad, cheese, apples, and what are called, for some mysterious reason, the four beggars — nuts, figs, almonds, and raisins, mixed together."

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Thirteen Desserts of Christmas - Les Treize Desser". Mama Lisa's World of Children and International Culture.
  2. ^ a b "Christmas Traditions in Provence".
  3. ^ "The Thirteen Christmas Desserts".
  4. ^ "Aroma Tours of Spain, Provence, Tuscany, Italy and Bali".
  5. ^ a b "Provençal Desserts | Avignon et Provence".
  6. ^ a b c, Noël in Provence Christmas traditions and recipes from Provence. Retrieved Aug. 30, 2007.

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