In 1902, Nantais confiseur and opera lover Charles Boho had a cat that he named Rigolette after the character in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and when he invented these fruity sweets he named them after his beloved cat.
Nantes was already famous for its berlingots; Rigolettes Nantaise are much softer: a thin shell of steamed sugar is filled with jammy fruit pulp and then frosted with sugar. Traditional flavours are lemon, mandarin, raspberry, blackcurrant and pineapple.
Or you can buy them according to season: the autumn/winter flavours are usually date, fig, blood orange, apple, pear, plum, pink grapefruit, chestnut and cranberry; the spring/ summer flavours may include lime, kiwi, strawberry, apricot, cherry, melon and peach.
There are also flower flavoured rigolettes (violet, rose, poppy, hibiscus and orange blossom), or chocolate or praline.
Image by Open Food Facts