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Meringues

In the Museum of culinary art in Frankfurt the source of the development of the «Meringue» was discovered before the Second World War from these papers (unfortunately destroyed during the war) it becomes clear that the «Meringue» was first made by a patissier called Casparini around 1600 in Meiringen. He named his creation after the place where the idea was born, and that was Meiringen.

The air-filled shells of egg-white were thus called «Meiring» or, in the plural «Meiringe». As this fully-baked invention went into South Germany and Austria, it was called «Meirinken» or «Merinken». In the North of Germany a new word was created: «Spanish Wind». In France the name was simply made French, which gave «Meringue».

The meringue then began to conquer all of Europe, going even as far as England, where Queen Elizabeth I called it «kiss» (it was also called «Baiser» by the French-speaking German court - a name it still ha in Germany today). Its greatest victory was over the French Courts. King Stanislaus Leszczynski (1677 - 1766) was served a meringue in his residence in Nancy. Having been deposed from the throne of Poland in 1709 he had moved to the Duchy of Lothringen.

His daughter married King Louis XV of France in 1725; King Stanislaus, who had a somewhat sweet tooth, and who had already introduced his Polish Rum-Baba to the Court, gave his daugther the recipe for the new meringue. The Court was impressed and started baking it for themselves. And thus did the humble and light egg-white creation from Meiringen in the Berner Oberland take the world.

In 1985 the Guiness Book of Records came to Meiringen for a meringue: the bakers of Meiringen made the largest meringue in the world: 2000 egg-whites, 120 kg sugar and 60 litres of whipped cream went to make a meringue 2.5 m long, 1.5 m wide and 70 cm high. They had to bake it in a sauna for two weeks, it being too big to fit into any oven anywhere in the vicinity. As big as a Volkswagen Beetle, the largest meringue ever in the world stood in the place in which it was invented... before it was eaten by the children of the village.

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