Today is time for meringue kisses. I have been making meringue kisses for a while, actually quite regularly (after I had figured out how to get the meringues right) since their first appearance in a Gingerbread variation on S&C.
But why are these sweet little pieces actually called kisses?
Yes, why are these sweet little pieces actually called kisses? I have no clue. The two meringue pieces are sticked together with a layer of ganache – so are the two meringues kissing each other? Could be a reason.The next thing that came to my mind is their shape similar to a Hershey’s kiss. According to Hershey the origin of the name is not exactly known. They are stating the manufacturing process as the most likely source for the name: from the sound a machine was making when putting the chocolate kisses onto the conveyor belt. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to believe this explanation. Hershey’s kisses have been on the market since 1907 which is a long time, but is it really too long to know where the name came from?
Looking right before my doorstep here in the heart of Europe, another version of chocolate kisses (chocolate covered egg white foam) has been around since the 19th century. Are we now on the right track? In the 19th century pastry shops in France invented sweets with the horribly racist name “Tête de nègre”, a chocolate covered meringue like mass. In German meringues are called “Baiser” (which is French for “kissing”) – people are speculating that this is how in German these sweets were named “kisses” (“Küsse”). First mentions already exist from around 1829. So, was the Hershey kiss really the first sweet kiss on the market? Definitely not. Not only in Europe but also in North America: The “Candy Professor” Samira Kawash looked behind this myth. According to her research, at the beginning of last century a kiss was just one of many common names for a small bite sized candy or small piece of chocolate. Until the 1990s Hersey’s had to exclude the term “kiss” from trademark applications for logos or wrapper images for “Hershey’s chocolate kisses” as the trademark officials insisted on “kiss” being a general term for (chocolate) candy and hence could not be trademarked.
I now leave you to enjoy these cherry meringue kisses. What are your favorite sweets that are called kisses?