Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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frangipane a culinary term now well established in English as well as in French, which has an interesting history and various applications.

Claudine Brécourt-Villars (1996) observes that the variant form franchipane appeared in a French cookery book of 1674, meaning a custard tart flavoured with pounded almond and pistachio; and that it appeared with the usual spelling in a dictionary of 1732 as a name used by confectioners. She and other authors record the story that the name comes from an Italian aristocrat, Don Cesare Frangipani, who became famous as the inventor of a perfume used to scent the gloves of Louis XIII. Her view is that frangipane originally meant a ‘cream’ flavoured simply with almond and used in the construction of various cakes; but later, by a natural extension, the confections made with the cream. Hence the similar modern meaning of products such as a tart or tartlet filled with an almond-flavoured mixture (whether of the consistency of custard or more solid).