In the year of grace of 1581, on 24th September Duke Anne de Joyeuse, favourite of King Henry III of France, married the King’s sister-in-law Marguerite de Vaudemont, and they had the most magnificent wedding. The ceremony was held in Paris at the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois, and was followed by many prestigious festivities which lasted two weeks and were the most costly in the history of France. For the occasion, Catherine de Médicis (mother of King Henry III) organised the first ever Ballet de Cour (a mix of Opera and Ballet) called « Circé: The Queen’s Ballet » and had a new recipe brought from Italy for the occasion; round, ground almond-based pastries called Maccarone.
The Duke of Joyeuse was so wonderstruck by these delicacies, he brought them to Joyeuse and thus founded the tradition of the Joyeuse macaroon. The installation of macaroon production in Joyeuse was helped by the presence in the region of several almond trees, successfully cultivated thanks to the mildness of the Mediterranean climate of the southern Ardeche region.
Successive generations of Joyeuse pastry cooks carried on the tradition of the Joyeuse Macaroon until 1867 when one such pastry cook, André Maurice Pellier, succeeded in adapting the baking of the macaroons thanks to the construction of a new oven and set the famous mystery recipe which is to this day kept secret. This original recipe continues to be passed down from generation to generation and it is this same recipe that Maison Charaix makes today in the same traditional way, choosing only natural products in order to recreate the unique taste of the original macaroon.