Baking

The intricate French puff pastry treat named after the patron saint of bakery

St. Honoré cake was created in the mid-19th century in Paris by Fauvel Chiboust (the namesake of Chiboust cream), by So Good. The pastry shop was on rue Saint Honoré, a street known for its many pastries and bakeries which takes its nickname from the local chapel dedicated to Saint Honoré (via Gastro Obscura).

Honoré was the bishop of Amiens, a city in northern France, in the 6th century. Legend has it that once the news of his appointment to this prestigious position reached his hometown, his former nurse refused to believe it unless his baker’s shovel (the wooden board used to move the bread in and out of the oven) does not turn into a tree. According to the story, when she laid down her skin, she miraculously turned into a mulberry tree.

This, among other things, contributed to Honoré eventually becoming known as the patron saint of bakers, confectioners, confectioners, flour merchants and other artisans (via Catholic Online). Centuries after his death, his relics – which the Encyclopedia Britannica describes as the bones or possessions of a saint – were used in processions to end droughts and floods that could damage wheat crops. And the chapel on rue Saint Honoré was actually used as the headquarters of a bakers’ guild in the 17th century (via NPR).

Honoré continues to be honored with the eponymous dessert and a party on May 16 — a day to enjoy breads and pastries (via Bake Magazine).