Thibault IV the Chansonnier, Count of Brie and of Champagne, returned from the Crusades in 1238. As was the case for many of his peers, this 'holy' war in a foreign land enabled him to discover another culture and many of its treasures (culinary, architectural, scientific and artisanal, among others). This was why Thibault IV brought back in his suitcase a red rose with medicinal properties which later became the Red Rose of Provins. The products of this 'Rosa gallica' quickly became very successful and were sought after in the largest marketplaces of the Middle Ages, in the provinces, Europe and even the East. The best-loved and most sought-after of the products made from this rose was the Provins rose petal preserve. Its reputation became so successful and its excellence so well-known that the product became the traditional gift given to kings of France when they came to Provins. The processes involved in producing this preserve, which date back several hundreds of years, have not changed to this day. Firstly, the petals are delicately picked at the end of August and the beginning of September. Once they have been spread out, sorted, washed and whitened they are then preserved in sugar. There is no point in trying to find out any more - the recipe and methods involved are a secret the town's latest generation of confectioners guard very closely.