Bordeaux’s signature pastry was borne of necessity, as wineries had an abundance of egg yolks and no use for them.
The wineries were not making egg-white omelets, but rather going about their usual wine-making business.
An important step in the wine-making process uses egg whites. Toward the end of the wine’s barrel aging process, vintners need to remove the proteins in the liquid. The most common fining agent is egg whites. Dropping an egg white in the barrel attracts the proteins, making it easy to remove the entire mass.
So what happens to the egg yolks?
Supposedly, Bordeaux’s nuns went around to all the wineries and collected the yolks and turned out these small, heavy pastries with a custardy center and a thick, dark caramel crust.
Of course, canelés go with any type of wine.