A Little History

The meaning of "La Gourmandise"
The term ' la gourmandise' in the French dictionary once meant indulging and eating too much but its meaning has been refined over the years. These days, it refers to the pleasures of sharing good food and wine.

The history of "Croissants"
The first production of a Croissant dates back to 1683. That year, Austria was under siege by the Turkish Empire. In Vienna, the Turkish assailant found that time was slipping past and decided to dig an underground tunnel to enter the city. The Vienna bakers, the majority of whom worked underground, heard noises and called in the army. The Turks were discovered and retreated. 

The bakers were thanked and honored and they decided to make bread in the shape of a crescent moon (the symbol of the Turkish flag) and the croissant was born. One hundred years later, Marie Antoinette (Austrian Princess who married Louis XVI), introduced the croissant to the French Aristocrats.

It was only at the start of this century that the butter puff croissant was created, and became the French national product in 1920.

The history of the "Brioche"
The word brioche first appeared in print in 1404, and this bread is believed to have sprung from a traditional Norman recipe. It is argued that brioche is probably of a Roman origin, since a very similar sort of sweet holiday bread is made in Romania ("sărălie"). The cooking method and tradition of using it during big holidays resembles the culture surrounding the brioche so much that it is difficult to doubt same origin of both foods. It is often served as a pastry or as the basis of a dessert, with many local variations in added ingredients, fillings and toppings. It is also used with savory preparations, particularly with foie gras, and is used in some meat dishes.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his 1783 autobiography Confessions, relates that "a great princess" is said to have advised, with regard to starving peasants, "S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche", commonly translated as "If they have no bread, let them eat cake". This saying is commonly mis-attributed to the ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI; it has been speculated that he was actually referring to Maria Theresa of Spain, the wife of Louis XIV, or various other aristocrats.

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La Gourmandise was opened on April 19th 1984 few years after Jean, his wife Francoise and their daughter Jessica immigrated to the US from La Rochelle, France.



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359 W. Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32174-6275
 Tel 386.672.5594

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