Saint-Mihiel in the Meuse was the birthplace of one of France’s great Renaissance sculptors, Ligier Richier and the Croquets de Saint-Mihiel. These were invented in 1854 by Charles Bourchette, who initially called his blond vanilla and almond biscuits petites bourchettes. French president Raymond Poincaré (1913-20) was famously addicted to them.
Saint-Mihiel’s second speciality, dark chocolate and hazelnut rochers came about in 1922, when the daughter of the a pastry chef named Rollot asked him to come up with a sweet that looked like the fossilized coral reefs north of the village.
Image by La Meuse