Praline roses from Lyon: sweet souvenirs to savour
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.
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.
Variations 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
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.
32, rue de Brest
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.
8 rue du Palais de Justice
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.
37 rue Saint-Jean
Metro: Vieux Lyon
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.
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.
20 rue Sergent Blandan
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