Grenoble walnut square

I grew up in Grenoble, the walnut capital of the world. In the country side around the city, there are acres and acres of walnut trees, and one can tell easily that they are walnut trees, because their shade is so thick that nothing grows under, hence the beautiful golden brown soil raked in a very symmetrical fashion below the trees. The walnuts are exported everywhere, and eaten as nuts, made into oil, liqueurs, candy, etc…


So there I am in the local supermarket, gathering ingredients meeting the 100 mile rule, and when I saw a bag of “Noix de Grenoble” I thought that by a long stretch of imagination,  I could qualify this purchase since it was a product of my home town.

I quickly proceeded to turn those walnuts into yummy squares, by melting  together in the microwave 3/4 cup of honey, 50 gr of bitter chocolate, 1/8 cup butter. I added one and a half cup of chopped walnuts and two sprinkles of cinnamon, poured the mix over a pastry dough and baked at 325 for 20 minutes in a square pan. Then, cool down,  and cut in squares.  Almost a healthy treat!


Now, I am putting the stuff away and read the labels on the “Noix de Grenoble” packaging. To my absolute horror, it says “Product of the USA”. So much for my comfort food, I have been cheated and deceived by Uncle Sam,  the US now grows “Noix de Grenoble” in California. Yes, this is totally Hollywood style, I am calling the Governor. 1 (213)…….

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5 Responses to Grenoble walnut square

  1. hopeeternal says:

    This year we holidayed in France, passing not all that far from Grenoble on our way to Briancon at the other end of the valley (and eventually to beautiful Lake Annecy). At Briancon we ate and enjoyed the famous Fig & Walnut Tart (Tarte Vauban), so I know that Walnuts are a local-ish speciality!
    I would love to find the Fig & Walnut/Tarte Vauban recipe but have searched the internet without success. I wonder if you know the secret?!
    Thank you
    hopeeternal
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’
    http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

    • Good idea HopeEternal , there is a fresh fig, walnut, and cream tart, is that it?

      • hopeeternal says:

        I have done some checking and realise it should have been Gateau Vauban (rather than Tarte): not an ancient recipe though, but created in 1995 to celebrate the city’s connection with the 17th Century engineer Vauban. Here is a link about the Gateau in French – I could not find one in English:
        http://vauban.alpes.fr/2009/12/decouvrez-le-gateau-de-voyage-de-vauban.html
        The Gateau Vauban we ate was a slice of almost solid chopped figs and walnuts on a pastry base, but with no cream. The site says this about the ingredients: “c’est un gâteau sans farine à base de figues sèches, de noix, d’amandes, de sucre et de blanc d’oeuf”. The recipe is probably a closely guarded secret but not difficult to work out from the ingredients listed, I suppose. We thought it was extremely good value at 1euro for a good sized slice!
        h/e

  2. Linda says:

    I did not know that Grenoble was the land of walnuts! That is an interesting bit of history. Also a great pity that those pesky Californians tried to pass off their own by using the traditional name. Call in The Terminator! Arnold, are you listening. 🙂 Those squares look very rich by the way. But oh, so good…

  3. The Famous Grenoble Walnut! I came across your post in a totally random way and it brings back so many memories of my exchange visit (from Scotland) to Grenoble when I was 16 years old…what memories, and how many walnuts do you Grenoblians eat…and in astonishing ways. Wonderful sweet treats.

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