Perhaps you’ve heard the French phrase “firme la bouche” which translates to “shut your mouth”. What is the pastry “croquembouche” then? A croquembouche is a tower of profiteroles piled in the shape of a pyramid and stuck together with hard caramel and decorated with spun sugar.
This decorative pastry was invented by perhaps the most famous chef to ever live, Antonin Careme. He first created this pastry tower that has adorned tables in France through many holidays and celebrations. The phrase croquembouche literally means ‘crunch in the mouth’. And this accurately reflects the very crunchy dessert, in fact ‘broken tooth in the mouth’ may be a better description. Something about that though just isn’t terribly appetizing.
Vive la croquembouche!
I will also bring up the famous French sandwiches the croque-madame and the croque-monsieur. The croque here refers to the crunchy bread because they are both toasted.