Thursday, February 05, 2009

Les Ballotins

Debauve et Gallais chocolate boxes, original art, 5" x 7"

What with Vallentines Day just around the corner we're being bombarded with candy boxes right and left, have your noticed?

Debauve et Gallais ballotins, original art, 5" x 7"

Granted most of them are heart-shaped... But I was reminded of how the French stack up their candy boxes/les ballotins all year round...

Pretty much based on quantity and price.
Usually the smallest size on offer is cent grams = 100 grams or 3.3 ounces if you don't happen to be metric

I love the patterns and geometry of these stacks.
And almost every candy shop offers them.
Le Roux, which is quite high-end has them.
Even the most posh of all French chocolatiers, DEBAUVE et GALLAIS has a range of sizes and boxes.

With their vast array of divine boxes does not offer a size range to choose from.

There is this tiny stack at the toy store if you want to shell out TWENTY EUROS. Ouch
La Maison du Chocolat  takes a more equalitarian attitude and offers a 2-chocolate box for 3.3 euros, so you can feel like a queen for 5 minutes.

Pierre Herme? Non, pas possible. Though his 10 euro box of chocolates is a fabulous value.

Three years ago, a friend lent me her little Paris studio cost-free, so I could buy chocolate boxes with abandon. Naturally it was just for research and still life models bien sur! I did end up giving most of the chocolate away to the concierge and my friend.
After all how much chocolate can you eat in three weeks?
  Do YOU have a favorite Parisien chocolate shop I should know about? Do tell!


  1. Oh WOW! Big Smiles. And you know, dark chocolate is actually GOOD for you too. I love these boxes. And what full play with scale...tall tall tower.. little bitty delectable bite... gawgeous dolling, gawgeous!

  2. I have to say my fave is the BIG stack of real chocolate:))

  3. Sophia1:42 PM

    Hey Carol--

    Is the tiny stack from I'd love some for my patisserie.


  4. lovely water colors...i am debating should i or shouldn't i? hmmmm
    have a great day carol.


  5. Paris is very bizaar because much luxurious things dans les vitrines and many many poors on the TV in all the country, is US like that, but you want to do something here the answer is strike strike strike... I don't understand how my country is again a rich country after all this strikes since so many centuries !

  6. Sheila1:57 PM

    Hi CArol. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your work and your writing and musings. I am a painter, and I had to laugh when yesterday I found myself working on a small acrylic called "heart as confectionery"
    Your sensibilities have worked their way into mine and my muse is amused.

  7. Foodwalker1:58 PM

    what a fun idea ....all those wonderful boxes. Why are they called les ballontines. I make ballontines of chicken but it's a breast stuffed with forcemeat and formed into a "baloon."

  8. You know I don't care for sweets, but that little chocolate is perfect! That reflection and the peeling paper are so great!

  9. scrumptious, and the artwork's great too...%¬)

  10. oh beautiful packages of goodies!

  11. grace under pressure2:41 PM

    Yes lovely stacks of goodies..
    Can't get enough of these...
    Why don't we have these over here pray tell...
    Different mentality I guess...

  12. I love La Maison du Chocolate. They have delicious macarons. My fave. Thanks for posting.

  13. Those look wonderful, Carol. Just got home from work and saw your beautiful watercolors. I like yours better than any of those boxes or ballotins. Magnifique!

  14. OH I am delighted to have come across your blog! Amazing, tactile and yummy watercolours. You've been linked!

  15. I confess: no, no secret Parisian chocolate shop in my Filofax. :-(
    Vicariously through PB, that is how I travel around Paris! Merci :-)

  16. Hi, Carol. You missed the ballotins at La Maison du Chocolat, which are cheerily red with a white heart outline. Happy Valentine's Day to you from one of your devoted readers! Thanks for cheering us up every day!


  17. Darlene6:47 PM

    Love your blog and am envious of your twice yearly trips and paintings.

    Was your photo of the ballotins from Le Roux taken at the Salon du Chocolat or L'Etoile d'Or or have they opened shop in Paris? I've only had their chocolates once when I purchased un sachet at the Salon and they were fabulous. However Quiberon is a long way from Paris. I know L'Etoile d'Or carries their caramels but I don't recall any bon bons.

    Hope you'll have good news for me!


  18. Love your site!! Your photos and watercolors are gorgeous!!

  19. just added you to my blog favorites!!

  20. Anonymous4:30 AM

    Ahhh! Could you see all the red ballotins now piled up or arranged in every single shop window, ready for Valentine Day...!

  21. Loved catching up with your blog today! I'm an American ex-pat living in Munich, Germany :) I added you to my "movable feasts" link list this morning and look forward to keeping up with your Paris/New York adventures.

  22. I am craving a small stack now. That little painting is precious.

  23. How much chocolate can you eat in 3 weeks??? Ma chere, you wouldn't believe!

  24. I have a stack of Hermes boxes though the way the economy is going it aint gonna get any higher.


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