You don't have to be painting French chocolates to pay a visit to the musee Gourmand du Chocolat (Choc-Story) in Paris.
28, bd Bonne Novelle 75010 Metro:Bonne Nouvelle
Open every day 10 - 6
Open every day 10 - 6
If you're a chocolate nut you really should know a bit more than which is your favorite ganache or Parisian chocolatier.
Lots of people may be clueless when they see a colorful cocoa pod/cabosse like this ahem...
Same with the pod's interior, but in France you'll find chocolate pods hither and thither. Some are solid chocolate. Others open up and are full of your usual squares of lush ganache.
I certainly didn't know till I visited the museum that monkeys were key imagery related to chocolates. They conveniently opened the pods, ate the surrounding material and spit out the cocoa seeds onto the ground, thus saving the farmer a lot of trouble by 'planting' the seeds and increasing their growth. Who knew?!
Astex codex include the cocoa bean and it's various and sundry processes...
Beautiful moulinet for grinding roasted beans. La Maison du Chocolat uses one as a symbol for their brand. I wish Hershey would do likewise...hmmm
Videos of South American chocolate making...
You can even buy a nice authentic la chocolatière in the museum's shop.
As well as chips of chocolate from just about everywhere in the world at different percentages and at a good price.
As part of my research in painting chocolate I felt the need to visit a few shops along with the museum. Dimanche A Paris smells wonderfully chocolaty. The aromas hit you on entry...
Naturally since it's Fall, the French champignon turns up in chocolate form
Over and over!
Or simply as window décor at Frederic Cassel Fontainebleau
I have yet to try one of these chocolate chataignes/chestnuts but my 12-year old watercolor student let out a big MIAM when she saw this picture. Her taste buds are way more sophisticated than mine it seems...
Back to painting chocolates.
I was lucky to find this cocoa bean/cabosse at the musee du chocolat - the perfect container for my still life. By the way if you are familiar with cocoa beans do give a shout out and I'll stop the hectoring I promise.
I was trying to remember the color combinations to make chocolate browns. I called Ali in NYC in desperation. She reminded me teacher David Dewey had us all get this terrific little watercolor mixing guide - THE WATERCOLOR PAINTER'S POCKET PALETTE.
I suggest you get it in English. The French versions is a tad beyond me. What was I thinking?!