Berner Oberland Experience
A Meiringer By Any Other Name
According to local legend, meringues were invented in 1720 in the Bernese Oberland town of Meiringen by a Swiss confectioner named Gasparini. It's said that the fluffy desserts were so popular that they soon spread to neighboring France, where Marie Antoinette was so taken with them that she actually made them herself regularly at the Petit Trianon, her château at Versailles. From the palaces of France the dish spread to the rest of the world, and it is the French angle that led to the name changing from meiringer to the more common meringue. This is probably not how meringues were invented, but the melt-in-your-mouth sweets are still a local specialty in Meiringen, where they are sold in dozens of pastry shops. To make them yourself, whip two parts egg whites together with one part sugar until the mass is light and fluffy. Bake for three hours at low heat, then let cool. Serve with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream.
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