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Thirteen desserts

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

The thirteen desserts (Occitan: lei tretze dessèrts) are the traditional dessert foods used to celebrate 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[edit]

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[edit]


French wedding foodways[edit]

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[edit]


  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". www.provenceweb.fr.
  3. ^ "The Thirteen Christmas Desserts". www2.culture.gouv.fr.
  4. ^ "Aroma Tours of Spain, Provence, Tuscany, Italy and Bali". aroma-tours.com.
  5. ^ a b "Provençal Desserts | Avignon et Provence". www.avignon-et-provence.com.
  6. ^ a b c about.com, Noël in Provence Christmas traditions and recipes from Provence. Retrieved Aug. 30, 2007.

External links[edit]

Media related to Treize desserts de Provence at Wikimedia Commons