THE PROVENÇAL DELICACIES OF MAISON JOUVAUD
It is a fascinating story that blossomed at the foot of Mont Ventoux in a beautiful and luminous Provence, the story of a patisserie shop that has been passed down for three generations and that has enabled gourmets of all ages and all nationalities to enjoy candied fruits, meringues, calissons, chocolates and other wonderful cakes. A family heritage that eventually reached as far as Japan, a country of connoisseurs of what is good and beautiful. This is the story of Maison Jouvaud and the family that bears its name, since the grandfather created it in 1948. Today it is Pierre and Jeanne-Marie Jouvaud, the brother and sister, the third generation, who are continuing the family adventure, and through them a whole culture is revealed, of which Provence is the anchor, between ancestral traditions and projections towards the future. Discover Maison Jouvaud, a Provençal house of excellence.
PASSION AS A HERITAGE
Whilst reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who has not had the fantasy of an inexhaustible source of sweet treats? For Pierre and Jeanne-Marie Jouvaud, the fantasy was a reality. In the morning, still in their pyjamas, they would go down just one floor to come and drink their chocolate in the historic shop of Maison Jouvaud, in the heart of Carpentras, which has been located on rue de l’Évêché since 1968. In the flat above the patisserie, the three generations of the Jouvaud family have succeeded one another, and today the fourth generation, still young, also comes down in their pyjamas to fetch their hot chocolate before leaving for school.
At the beginning was the grandfather, Gilbert, who after having been an apprentice in Marseille and having started his career as a pastry chef in Nîmes, came back to live in Carpentras with his wife Lisette, just next to where he was born and the adventure of Maison Jouvaud began, in 1948. His son, Frédéric, with his wife Nicole, and their children Pierre and Jeanne-Marie naturally continued the adventure, so that 3 generations have together developed the company. Today, Pierre (running the production) and Jeanne-Marie (running the boutiques) have taken the reins of the company, with their parents still at their side.
It’s not so common for three successive generations to pursue the initial vision with passion, determination and success!
“TO DELIGHT RATHER THAN TO AMAZE”
In the proliferation of patisserie concepts that have mostly to do with marketing, we love the way Maison Jouvaud has kept its obsession with simplicity and product quality intact. The ingredients are Provençal, the region is so rich: melons from Cavaillon, apricots from Mont Ventoux, strawberries from Carpentras, bought from producers they have known all their lives, and worked according to the true art of Provençal pastry and confectionery, rehabilitating old recipes.
As for the candied fruits, a craft work close to haute couture, more than 2 months worth of work are necessary: selection of the most beautiful fruits, their “piquage” (holes are made in the fruit to allow the syrup to penetrate well), and successive boiling (up to 10!) in copper cauldrons of the fruits in a syrup of sugar and water. At the end of the process, only the fruit will remain, full of a rich syrup, all the water will have evaporated. A typically Provencal art that appeared in the second half of the 14th century with the popes in Avignon. A rare and precious technique that few confectioners pursue today, Maison Jouvaud remains the exception.
Another richness of Provence, the almond is here a king ingredient, between calissons and magnificent “strips of fruit tarts”, best-sellers of the house, or the spectacular meringue with a hazelnut heart, called “Rocaille” in homage to the mythical white stones of Mont Ventoux.
There are also chocolates, which the house has also made a speciality of and which has enabled it to be ranked among the best chocolate makers in France. One of them is the joyful Muettes, small coloured chocolate cicadas in partnership with Monochromic, in a contemporary nod to the terracotta cicadas found in Provence.
FROM PROVENCE TO JAPAN
The meeting of Provence and Japan was an obvious choice: the strength and vibrancy of Provençal traditions and culture could only enchant the Japanese, who are themselves very attached to the excellence of crafts and the authenticity of brands. So, 20 years ago, the Jouvaud family went to Japan to talk about Provence and sweet delights, and with 3 shops between Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya, became one of the best ambassadors of the Provencal art of living in the land of the rising sun.
We had initially discovered Maison Jouvaud in Kyoto, a marvellous shop in one of the prettiest streets in the city, a unique place, an ode to the Provencal culture, and we wanted to know more. Discovering this house thanks to Jeanne-Marie who opened the doors to us, understanding its heritage, this remarkable family transmission, reminded us that an entrepreneurial project always has its origins in an idea, but that it is the people, the vision, the respect they have and the values they defend that make the success and the durability. A philosophy that we try to apply every day at Escadrille, so we could not but admire their story!
The 4th generation is still young, but maybe the promise of a continued family adventure. Pierre, Jeanne-Marie and their team are growing the business with a very clear vision, a new and much larger production laboratory is opening in 10 days, and they will also be baking bread for the first time, a great new adventure. This choice to invest in the production tool, while keeping the attention to the quality of the ingredients, the very short circuits, the non-negotiable home-made products, is a guarantee of many years of delighting gourmets, from the cyclists of the Ventoux, to the tourists in goguettes, and the Provençals of origin and of heart.
A recipe from La Maison Jouvaud: strip of puff pastry quince tart
(thanks to Pierre Jouvaud for sharing this wonderful recipe!)
Composition: Classic puff pastry + Baked almond cream + Cooked quinces
- Almond cream
Butter 108 gr
Almond powder 108 gr
Sugar 108 gr
Pasteurised whole egg 55g
Pastry cream 543 gr
Pastry flour (T55) 76 g
Mix the ingredients together
- Poaching the quinces
Pieces of quince flesh 500 gr
Water 500 gr
Lemon juice 20 gr
Vanilla 1 pod
Star anise 2 stars
Vergeoise 200 g
Cook the quince pieces in this syrup for around 50 minutes, then drain and keep refrigerated.
- Baking quince Tatin style
Poached quinces 500 g
Apple cubes 50 g
Caramel (glucose/fondant/crystal) 100 g
Butter 25 g
Make a coloured caramel, decook with the butter and pour into a gastro tray. Place the quinces and apples in the pan and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.
Roll out the puff pastry to 1.9 and cut into 3 strips 60 cm long and 13 cm wide. Prick.
Glue 1 cm wide strips to the sides and score. Leave to rest in a cool place and freeze if necessary.
Pre-bake and fill with 5 logs of almond cream 12 mm in diameter. Finish cooking and set aside.
Arrange the quince Tatin-style on the flaky pastry (your choice of shape: cube, dome, etc.).
The quince tart can be decorated with a vanilla or praline whipped cream.
Maison Jouvaud – Boutiques: Carpentras, Avignon (les Halles et Cap-Sud), L’ïle sur la Sorgue. Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto.
Pictures: Antoine Schramm