29
Mar

Histoire d’un Bernardin

Le bernardin a tenu une place significative dans la vie des Fleurusiens, voilà les mots au travers desquels René Hittelet (qui détenait la recette il y a une centaine d’ années) a bénéficié d’une publicité de sa spécialité unique, il s’agit d’un extrait d’une revue (au sens de spectacle) franco-wallonne présentée les 24 et 25 novembre 1923 : « … Je suis le bernardin fleurusien. Croquez et croquez moi Mesdames, croquez moi pour mieux me déguster, je vous plairai je le proclame. Et vous voudrez recommencer. Ma pâte est fine et parfumée, je suis le vrai bonbon parfait, vous comprendrez ma renommée et vous voudrez recommencer ! ». Le Cerque « Rén qu’Wallon » avait proposé deux « grandes soirées » de bienfaisance reposant sur une pièce en trois actes et un prologue écrits par Henri Pétrez et Max André, des textes mis en musique par Camille Dallons. Trois illustres Fleurusiens !

Le passage mentionné ci-dessus est un message naïf et pittoresque, bien dans le style usité par nos aïeux.

A l’heure où Fleurus annonce sa cavalcade, le plus important événement de l’année, on peut rappeler une bonne tradition à laquelle les 50 ans et + restent attachés : celle du bernardin. On ne peut ignorer, en effet, l’existence de ce biscuit créé il y a 200 ans. C’est dans l’esprit de perpétuer la tradition des produits locaux que la Confrérie de la Cité du Bernardin tiendra son 19ème chapitre le 8 avril.

A l’attention des plus jeunes, rappelons que le bernardin est un biscuit fabriqué au départ d’une recette « secrète », le dernier dépositaire étant Jonathan Mahy. Pour parler du bernardin avec « amour », nous avons écouté Etienne Piraux, exploitant de la boulangerie-pâtisserie « Les Sans Pareils » (rue des Bourgeois) entre 1979 et 1996, avant de céder le témoin à Jacques Fahri, jusqu’à l’incendie de l’immeuble.

Selon certains, le bernardin a été créé vers 1812 par Jean Close, qui servit de « guide » à Napoléon qui fit honneur à notre biscuit. Quel(s) élément(s) a/ont enfanté du mot bernardin ?

La recette du bernardin ? Nous ne la connaîtrons (évidemment) pas, mais le chroniqueur culinaire vedette Gaston Clément – le Candice Kother d’après seconde guerre mondiale – citait des amandes, des blancs d’œufs, un peu de farine et de cannelle, et du sucre cassonade. Alors E. Piraux se dévoile : « Il s’agit alors de réaliser un mortier homogène, et de le fractionner en pâtons de 100 grs, à rouler dans du sucre perlé. Ensuite, il faut rouler chaque pâton pour constituer « un cylindre » permettant de découper 6 biscuits égaux, qui pourront être disposés sur une plaque (huilée) de cuisson, aplatis avant d’y déposer deux demi-amandes sur chaque biscuit. Et puis la cuisson… »

Vous n’en connaîtrez pas non plus le temps, et comme l’écrivait Paul Jacquemin dans le bulletin n° 35 de la « Société d’histoire, arts et folklore des communes de Fleurus » : « Connaître la recette d’une pâtisserie est une chose. La réaliser soi-même avec le bonheur du professionnel en est une autre ! »

 

Un plaisir à partager

Vous l’aurez compris, le bernardin est un biscuit sucré qui peut s’accompagner de différentes boissons. La confrérie promeut le Pomineau des Vergers de Fleurus, un apéritif moelleux – fabriqué avec des pommes de nos vergers bien sûr – qui n’est pas sans rappeler un pommeau normand , cela dit le vin de rhubarbe du père Piraux…

Ou si vous ne souhaitez pas ajouter du sucre au sucre, nous avons découvert chez « Open Your Wine » (rue de la Guinguette, 8 à Fleurus, anciens locaux de la torréfaction Brazil) un Coteaux du Loir (cépage chenin) qui dégage des arômes d’amande, pêche ou encore melon, offre  une belle rondeur en bouche et une fraîcheur qui apaise le sucre du bernardin.

 

138ème cavalcade de Fleurus

Bien sûr, ce week-end, Fleurus vivra au rythme de sa cavalcade, bien connue en Wallonie et cotée au-delà de nos frontières. Voilà une belle sortie pour emmener petits – et pourquoi pas grands ? – vers des moments particuliers , que susciteront quelques sociétés de haut vol. Mais, bien entendu, la « Cité des Bernardins » vibrera de ses gilles. Dès potron-minet jusqu’à plus soif, vous vous en doutiez.

Un changement notoire à souligner à la veille de ce week-end : le feu d’artifice sera tiré dimanche vers 22h00 légèrement excentré par rapport à la place. Le public se réunira sur le parking du Brico et Trafic, le tir proprement dit sera organisé dans l’espace du stade communal situé juste à l’arrière.

Du bernardin au Bernardin (autrement dit vous), le boucle est bouclée. Bonne cavalcade !!

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