The confectionery trade,
a "Sugar's Art"

The inventor Georges Forest :

"Sugar confectionery divided itself into
two distinct branches :
- caramels and boiled sugar sweets in one hand
- and on the other hand, soft-centred or praline-centred sweets in a hard flavoured sugar coating filled with smooth praline or other pastes...These soft-centred sweets were created by myself in 1879 in Bourges under the name of "Forestines"*.
And with another range of exquisite praline-centred sweets, I imagined a new collection known as the "Spécialités du Berry"*..."

(*Registered Trade Marks)

    the "honeyed reed"

    Although already known in India and in China 2500 years before our time, then in Persia around about 510 BC before being produced by the Islamic civilisation from the 7th century onwards, sugar cane doesn't make an appearance in France until the 12th century with the return of the Crusaders. During the 13th century, Cyprus and Sicily are the main producers of sugar cane for the European countries...

  • "Zucre"

    ... but "zucre" (sugar), a luxury commodity used as medicin by the apothecaries, isn't to take the place of honey used since ancient times, until the Renaissance...

  • Preservation

    Honey has been used in fruit preservation since ancient times : its antiseptic properties made it ideal for long term preservation.

  • Dragati

    Honey-coated almonds, the "dragée's" ancestor, already existed in Roman times : Julius Dragatus, a confectioner from a rich Roman family came up with the idea of coating almonds, walnuts or spices seeds in honey . His "dragati" were distributed to the people on the occasion of public festivities.

  • "Nogat"

    A recipe based on walnuts, nuts, pine-kernels, eggs and honey was already known in Masilia (Marseille) in ancient times... But "Nogat" (nowadays known as "Nougat") was to make its appearance during the 15th century.

    Beetroot sugar

    The different stages of cooking sugar leading to its boiling and caramelisation point are not to appear until the 17th to 18th century. It is only when clarified beetroot sugar is finally obtained in 1812, that the confection of boiled sweets really starts to be developped...

  • Up until the time when Georges Forest invented the soft-centred sweet, candies are generally:
    - either hard–centred and coated in sugar : dries fruits (sugar-coated almonds known under the name of "dragées" or French "Praslines"), flavoured spices seeds (aniseed, cloves, coiander, juniper berries...)
    - or hand flavoured hard boiled sugar shaped into drops, barley sugars, boiled sweets or hard caramels...
    - or soft sugar and fruit based pastes : the "dried fruit jellies" of the Middle Ages, forerunners of modern fruit jellies and candied fruits... or dried flaked nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine kernels) mixed with honey or sugar : marzipan, "turon" or French soft "Nougat"...


    Sugar and liqueur confectioner, Georges Forest, his training with the best in the trade completed, including the famous Seugnot in Paris, dreams of inventing "his own candy". After much thought, he realizes that there is a missing link in the chain of delicious traditional candies of his time : an innovative sweet that would be a union of smoothness and crispness at the same time ! On December 24th 1879, in Bourges where he settled, is finally patented the "Forestine", the world's first ever soft-centred candy...

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"Forestine", "Forestines", "Maison des Forestines" and "Spécialités du Berry" are Maison de la Forestine Registered Trademarks