This is the original Chestnut Cream, invented and still manufactured by Clément Faugier, delectable with its chunky chestnuts, wisps of vanilla, and just the right amount of sugar.
Clément Faugier invented Chestnut Cream in 1885 as he was trying to save candied chestnuts that broke during production. To make this cream, the chestnuts are first puréed by cutting them open, boiling them, and then peeling their skins. After a trip in the blender to create a smooth mixture, the chestnut purée is mixed with a syrup composed of water, sugar, and vanilla. The blend continues to cook until the perfect texture is reached.
During World War II, despite widespread pillaging of resources, the Germans don’t seem to realize the nutritious value of chestnuts from Ardèche. As a result, Clément Faugier comes up with a clever idea to avoid rationing. He prepares a mysterious fortifying product which he names “Génovitine” and sells it in pharmacies. To procure some, all it take is a prescription from a well-intentioned doctor. Génovitine, of course, it nothing more than chestnut cream with a few harmless excipients. For city dwellers, whose nutritional situation is far worse than for people in the countryside, it’s an appreciated comfort, in particular for children and teenagers undergoing growth spurts.
According to French legislation, chestnut cream must include at least 38% of chestnut purée to be allowed to call itself chestnut cream.
How to eat chestnut cream? For instance, you can mix it into plain yoghurt, or spread it on crêpes, waffles, or pancakes. It’s a great way to change up your habits and be original! You can also find numerous recipes that call for chestnut cream, such as recipes for homemade ice cream, tarts, shortcakes, macarons, and even some savory dishes.