A true story born in the tread of my father’s footsteps
The story begins on a warm day of spring cleaning at my childhood home in France a few years back. I had hardly begun my endeavor in the attic when a single ray of
sunlight drew my attention to a small box peeking out from behind a wicker trunk, spotlighting the small package and calling me towards it.
I slowly lifted the top off and delicately moved aside the tissue paper to reveal something I had not expected.
The two most beautiful little shoes, sleepily nestled together in the paper. Beneath the shoes laid a yellowed photograph of a small boy in a buttoned coat with a caption penned across the back in perfect script: “1942… Pierre, 2 years old”
Pierre, my father, was suddenly a small boy who stood before me gazing quietly through two familiar eyes. And in my hands I held the shoes of his youth and thus, I was transported to the previously unfamiliar days of my father’s childhood.
I was utterly dumbfounded—how could these two little shoes in their pretty little box have crossed so much time with such effortless elegance?
But the answer was simple really, for I see it and feel it in my hands now:
Tradition, quality of materials and savoir-faire.
And with these three standards of craft, Calisson was born.
The simple yet extraordinary experience of discovering my father’s shoes was the catalyst to a brand built on a high standard of quality. This standard is what sets Calisson apart for its guarantee of authenticity, creativity and high-quality materials.
And now, in an effort to share my enchanted moment with everyone, Calisson offers high-quality handmade shoes, apparel and blankets in their own precious keepsake boxes to recreate the same nostalgic feeling of childhood long after the season of youth has passed—bridging the past and present.
A calisson is a small French cookie made from almond paste and candied fruit, layered with icing and cut into a diamond shape. The recipe for which has remained unchanged for centuries—a testament to the preservation of tradition and French savoir-faire. But what sets this little pastry apart? It is born of royal descent, bien sûr.
The History of Calisson
Legend has it that this cookie first appeared at the wedding feast of King Rene, Count of Provence, King of Naples, in 1454. History tells us that his queen, Jeanne de Laval, never smiled, keeping her face stoic despite the joyous circumstances.
In an effort to crack the queen’s austere expression, the pastry cook of the court, Titse, presented specially for her a small delicacy confected from sugar, almonds and candied fruit.
Jeanne took one bite and her previously stern face immediately lit up into a sparkling smile.
The King’s court was astonished and they asked one another, “What makes our Queen smile?”
Since then, the calisson has made a tour of the world, eventually calling Paris home where it can now be found in cafes that were frequented by King Edward VII of England, whenever his royal duties brought him to the city of lights in the early 1900s.