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Praline roses from Lyon: sweet souvenirs to savour

MyFrenchLife™ - pralineSweet, sugar-coated, and spectacularly pink: pralines roses – tiny caramelised almonds – are a taste of childhood no matter what your age is.

Although the French capital of gastronomy may be known for its bouchons serving rich and meaty saucissons and quenelles, Lyon also has its fair share of sweet specialities.

Pralines are a popular sweet treat found across France, but Lyon’s fluorescent pink sugary shells immediately catch the eye of passers-by. Whilst pralines are popular in chocolate, the Lyonnais have found many ways to add a touch of colour to various recipes.

A dash of colour

Pink pralines are unique to Lyon, yet the story behind the sweet’s rosy pink colour remains a bit of a mystery. If you ask most people why the pralines here are pink, they’ll admit that they are just as clueless as you are. A simple shrugging of shoulders and a mutter about food colouring is usually the answer.

MyFrenchLife™ - praline

In the 18th century, a Lyonnais pastry chef was apparently inspired by the rose gardens in the Rhône region and tinted his pralines in a similar pink in his copper-mixing machine. This proved to be a hit with customers and the rose-coloured praline tart was born.

Whatever the true story, these delicious classics are a must try for any gourmand.

MyFrenchLife™ - pralineVariations of this French specialty

These sugar-coated almonds form the core of many praline-based treats, which are the perfect mid-afternoon goûter or dessert for those with a sweet tooth.

Nearly all bouchons in Lyon will serve a tarte aux pralines for dessert. Crushed and cooked with cream, pralines add a nutty crunchiness to the irresistibly sweet and gooey filling that will keep your mouth glued shut until dinner time.

Another well-known praline-inspired speciality is the brioche aux pralines, which was made famous by baker Auguste Pralus in 1955, coining it as the ‘Praluline’. You may also see this called a brioche de Saint-Genix, which comes from Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers in the Rhône-Alpes region. Other combinations you may want to try are praline cake, biscotti, meringue, ice-cream and even praline chocolate mousse.

Where to go for the best praline in Lyon

MyFrenchLife - praline

Pralus
Visit this chocolatier to try the famous Praluline, a wonderfully buttery brioche filled with rose pralines. It is, unfortunately, not possible to manger sur place, so you’ll have to resist the temptation and savour your sweet indulgence chez vous.

Pralus
32, rue de Brest
69002 Lyon
Metro: Cordeliers Bourse

Boulangerie du Palais
After trying Pralus, this is the place to buy your brioches aux pralines. Popular amongst locals and visitors, this boulangerie often has a queue spilling out onto the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon. Make sure to get there before late afternoon to avoid disappointment.

Boulangerie du Palais
8 rue du Palais de Justice
69005 Lyon
Metro: Vieux Lyon

À la Marquise
Located in Vieux Lyon’s main street Saint-Jean, this is a great pit stop for a mid-afternoon sugar-boost whilst sightseeing.

À la Marquise
37 rue Saint-Jean
69005 Lyon
Metro: Vieux Lyon
MyFrenchLife™ - praline

Boulangerie Jocteur
While you can enjoy artisan baguettes and many viennoises in one of the four salons de thé in Lyon, Boulangerie Jocteur is particularly known for its famous tarte aux pralines. Boulangerie Joncteur also has a tearoom in Paris.

Boulangerie Jocteur
Three locations around Lyon – see website

Bouchon des Filles
A delectable dessert is what makes a fantastic meal an exquisite one. The tarte aux pralines at Bouchon des filles will not leave you disappointed.

Bouchon des Filles
20 rue Sergent Blandan
69001 Lyon
Metro: Hôtel de Ville – Louis Pradel

Where would you go to satisfy your praline craving? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Images 1 & 5 © Jill Henshaw; all others © Selina Sykes 


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5 Comments




  1. Ellen Burns
    5 years ago

    Great article Selina! I’m not a huge sweet tooth but this made my mouth water and I love learning about specialties that are specific to different regions. Sugar-coated almonds were always part of my childhood Christmases. My mother is British so I’m sure that was a European influence, it’s increasingly hard to find them in Australia! Are these pralines found elsewhere in France as well?


  2. Selina Sykes
    5 years ago

    Merci Ellen! I have such a sweet tooth ???? Pink pralines are specific to Lyon and the region, but pralines are found everywhere in France. I am half Belgian and pralines are a speciality there too but I was still mesmerised by the sheet colour of them in Lyon!


  3. Elise Mellor
    5 years ago

    Ellen – when I was a kid, my day-care mother made bonbonniere for weddings in our town, and she always had sugared almonds on hand for when you scraped a knee or another kid called you a name. So they are a part of my childhood too ^_^


  4. Esme Wakefield
    5 years ago

    Brioche pralines – my favourite!! Miss Lyon


  5. Libby Ingham
    5 years ago

    We just returned to the States after 2 months of living in Lyon and we loved the Tarte au Praline and particularly the Alumette which was layers of phyllo, praline and powdered sugar. I’d love to make it at home but don’t know how to make the praline. If anyone has a recipe for it, I would be grateful!