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Cherries, apricots, melons, strawberries, peaches and now also tropical fruits are all candied in the same way.The fruits are blanched in boiling water, then plunged a dozen or so times in boiling syrup of increasing strength over a period of a month or even longer.Shortly afterwards Gustave Eysséric found a way of industrialising the process and soon the berlingot was sold all over the world. But it remains a popular tourist souvenir, especially when packaged in the trademark berlingot tin.One manufacturer, Serge Clavel, specialises in extraordinary candy sculptures and has developed intriguing variants, such as a tricolour version for the Elysée Palace. Nougat from Southern Provence Montelimar nougat is the famous one that everyone knows, but the nougat to be found further south is - at least the manufactuers claim - very different.They stand for the white penitents and black penitents, according to some accounts.In others, the soft white nougat represents purity and goodness, while the harder, brittle black nougat symbolises impurity and forces of evil. Papalines from Avignon Piqued at not having a speciality of its own, Avignon came up with this decidedly odd-looking creation in 1960, baptised in honour of the Avignon popes.Melonettes are sweets made of a ganache of dark chocolate infused with melon; cigales are nothing to do with the noisy cicada, but are made of preserved melon marinated in anise and coated in honey and grilled almonds. Candied fruit from Apt Back in the Middle Ages, this was a practical method of preserving the region's over-abundant fruit harvests.Today the fruit is a delicacy of international renown.

These are long thin biscuits flavoured with orange water and intended to resemble the boat, or navette, that brought Lazarus, Mary Magdalene and other saints to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in Provence.

The chewier black nougat has unskinned almonds, brown sugar and no egg white, and is briskly caramelised over an open flame.

These two nougats are the only sweets to be indispensable ingredients of the 13 Desserts, a cornerstone of Christmas celebrations in provençal households.

Navettes are traditionally eaten at Candlemas (Chandeleur) on 2 February after traditional religious processions, the most celebrated of which is held at Saint Victor Abbey in Marseille. The espérantine,, is by contrast a real newcomer: it was created for Marseille's 2600th anniversary in 1999.

It is a chocolate, though it does not look like one - it is shaped like an olive leaf and coloured a vivid green - or taste like a conventional one either.