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A Bit Of Decadence

From alms to extravagance, the beggar’s purse has a story all its own.

Wild Berry Beggar’s Purse with Chocolate Ganache, Mango Salsa and Sauce Anglaise - Purchase the December 2015 issue for the full recipe!

Wild Berry Beggar’s Purse with Chocolate Ganache, Mango Salsa and Sauce Anglaise - Purchase the December 2015 issue for the full recipe!

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines alms as “something given freely to relieve the poor,” the word in English being “almoner” and in French, “aumônière,” literally meaning a purse containing alms. Giving to the poor dates back to the 14th century when the first alms purse appeared as a cloth bag with a drawstring usually worn around the waist on a belt. 

So why this history lesson in purses in the “Local Flavor” section this month? Well, as it turns out, one of the most tantalizing and versatile gastronomical creations was inspired by that 14th century drawstring purse and became a popular feature on a menu right here in Vero Beach. But first another bit of history.