Everything Gourmet

The Twelve Days of Christmas: the First Day of Christmas

The Color Queen Collection of rings from Mellerio dits Meller in the trunk fashioned by the house of Goyard. ©MELLERIO 2022. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France —It’s the first day of Christmas, Christmas Day, and the traditional 12 days of Christmas will follow one another until January 6th when the Three Wise Men entered into Bethlehem from somewhere East, guided by a star. Starring on this first day of Christmas is a treasure bringing together the talents of two of France’s most luxurious houses: Mellerio and Goyard. Mellerio dits Meller, the family-owned house of high jewelry wanted the perfect setting for its collection of ten beautiful rings, the Color Queens and the family-owned house and oldest trunk maker in Paris furnished it: a custom-made trunk fit for these queens. Designed by Laure-Isabelle Mellerio, the Color Queen Collection pays tribute to the house’s Italian origins and draws its inspiration from  the Renaissance, a period ever so important to the house’s early days when it began its ongoing complicity with the leading queens of the age from the house’s inception in 1613. The rings, nestled into the tiny trunk, are an enchanting first day of Christmas gift, available at Mellerio in Paris.

But where would the first day of Christmas be without two staples of the cheery French holiday season: champagne and a Yule log cake known in French as the bûche de Noël, a quintessential French specialty. The Yule log can finds its origins in pagan traditions back in a time when a tree was carefully selected to bring into the home or dwelling to burn during the period of Midwinter or the winter solstice. The ancient fire festival of the winter solstice survived into Christendom with the Yule log custom being widespread in parts of Europe, notably England and France when the pagan tree became a log. Today the Yule log has become a delicious and often an intricate cake served throughout the winter holiday season. Today’s is fit for a queen and is served at the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace hotel in Versailles just a short way from where the queens of France resided. Created by the hotel’s pastry chef Eddie Benghanem, the bûche is dubbed Origami and it is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.  The cake is covered with a thin layer of Peruvian milk chocolate from the house of Nicolas Berger and within an unctuous  milk chocolate mousse. Crunchy aspects include an almond praline which is sublimated by a vanilla cream and candied citrus fruits. The « forest » is made entirely of chocolate. Meanwhile for a first day of Christmas champagne, Pol roger, the official supplier to the Royal Family of Great Britain and has possessed the official Royal Warrant since 1877. The house’s 2015 vintage is made of the traditional blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grape varieties and is clearly a fantastic first day of Christmas wine. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette





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