Sunday, March 09, 2014

Fraise des Bois Week!

This has been FRAISE DES BOIS WEEK for me in more ways than I can count.
It's the first time this year Berthillon put fraise des bois up on the flavor board. Fraise des bois was the first and only flavor Berthillon offered when they opened in 1954. My landlord says he believes he was their 1st customer at age 4. He put a 1 franc coin on the counter for 1 boul (a single scoop) and is still eating fraise des bois today.
I went into the shop to get as many carte de visit cards as possible to put in your envelopes. Muriel (in the fraise des bois red sweater), the owner of the shop (her father and grandfather opened Berthillon) told me on Wednesday they were expecting a shipment from their special purveyor in Spain but the ice cream would take time to prepare. Come back Friday.
I remember seeing fraise des bois tartes at Frederic Cassel Fountainbleau.
Admiring them like elegant Dior handbags, but outside my pocketbook.
A little searching on the net and I found Frederic Cassel, Pierre Hermé and Berthillon's supplier Arzagot in Malaga - strawberry supplier to pastry stars of France.The line was pretty short on Friday. Even though I was on my way to lunch I figured I could have an ice cream 'apero' pre-lunch non?

There are whole berries in Berthillon's fraise des bois. I've never tasted it before. Just ,30 centimes more than the other flavors.
Living in Paris this past year has been one of the best years of my life but there are challenges. Counting out centimes has become a daily experience.
Thanks to your lovely response and generous show of support to the new Monthly Paris sketch letters my life has changed so much for the better overnight. I'm kicking up my heels all week with joy like Pharrell Williams' Happiness song.


  1. applaud your ability to make a life in Paris by doing lovely snippets of art with witty notes. Wether or not you realize this, people such as myself read your blog every day and squeal with delight. You bring us back to Paris if we haven't been in a while, and take us there if we've not been at all. I love your drawings, your sense of humor I and your charm. Can't wait for my letters - thanks Carol.

  2. How wonderful your success is! However, ice cream before lunch? Surely the road to perdition...of course, I'd have to admit to the crime myself, but not recently.

  3. Adorable post:)
    And the enw letter looks fabulous.
    I agree wow about leaving NY..and making it there..all the moves..meeting so many people..all the sorties.. wow.
    Quite unbelievable.

  4. Berthillon's - what a delicious memory : ) I loved the rhubarb, but fraise des bois would probably be the hands-down winner. What a wonderful Pharrell Williams' Happiness song at the end - I'll be listening and smiling all day long while I finish up my taxes ... as soon as I pass on your blog to my friends. Bonne journée.

  5. Splendid post, and I am so happy about the great response to your fabulous Paris letters offer!

    Fraise des bois remind me of springtime in Rome, driving out to Lago di Nemi on weekends and buying wild little strawberries from roadside sellers who collected them in the woods around the lake. They strawberries were in baskets made out of twigs and leaves, their fragrance filling the inside of the car with their heady fragrance.

  6. Bonnie L12:34 PM

    What a lovely blog post to receive on this cold New England morning! Bringing memories of Berthillon and portents of spring; frais des bois!

    You are a perfect example, dear Carol, of follow your dreams & success will follow. With a lot of hard work & perseverance thrown in, of course! Keep on kicking up those heels!

    Almost salivating in anticipation of my belles lettres, they look SO lovely!

  7. Fraise des bois is superb!

  8. Patsy2:46 PM

    I am happy to support your endeavors via the Etsy subscription and am looking forward to the receipt of my first letter. After all, you are living my dream! Cheers!

    1. Thank you Patsy ;)
      I'm almost as excited as you are.
      And I started work on the March letter

  9. Rosemary Flannery2:50 PM

    love the idea of ice cream as an 'apero'! et bravo on your new project. xoxo R

    p.s. love love fraises des bois aussi!

  10. FRAISE DES blog ever...and to think I will miss this icecream...

    Now that you are neighbors with BERTHILLON...just a 5 minute walk away...oh, my...One of my favorites is the and a little tart...

    You have such great momentum has all come together...

    can't wait for the next...D

    1. Thanks very much Diane !
      It's scary amazing how my life here has taken off like a gorgeous hot air balloon.
      I feel like I've sailed through with the greatest of ease..

  11. Foodwalker3:42 PM

    So happy the letter idea is working so well. And thank you for turning me on to the Happy video this morning. Charming.

  12. I love that opening shot, beautiful, bright colors. Makes me think there is life after this incredibly long Winter!

  13. Carolyn7:14 PM

    That ice cream cone looks so yummy! I hope there is an exciting flavor when I am there in September! Now that I know my letter is in the mail I am soooo excited!!!!

  14. Jackii7:29 PM

    Looking forward to your little letters...what a great idea to do. I'm a watercolorist who's been to Paris a few times and enjoy hearing about all your delightful discoveries. Glad to help support your adventure!!!

  15. I think that we make our own luck. Your talent made your luck, me thinks. That and your courage to follow your dreams.
    All followers of Paris Breakfasts love Paris, but you actually had the courage to make the move. I think we all envy & admire that, living vicariously through you. You deserve all of the good fortune that is coming your way, enjoy!

  16. I'm so happy your life has bloomed in Paris, what a dream come true. I can't wait to get my first letter!

    My flavors when last at Berthillon's were Green Tea and Lavender (or Cassis, it was purple) ... it was a delight to the eye and tongue.

    I'm so happy for you.

    Karen in VA

  17. Now what on earth was I thinking when I tore out the fraises de bois in the garden????

  18. Very lucky to have the chance to live in Paris , your posts are brilliant , I enjoy them , so colourful and I adore Paris. Your monthly Sketch letters are amazing,

  19. Jane g10:56 PM

    C'est arrivé!
    my first envelope of goodies!
    I opened it very, very carefully with a sharp paper knife so as not to damage anything. ooh, what delights!
    Merci --

  20. What a surprise in my mailbox yesterday! So much fun to open the envelope from France with such a delightful sketch in it! Merci Carol !!

  21. I knew this was going to be a great success! In fact I loved it so much I featured it on my Friday Favorites post this week!

    1. THANK YOU Elizabeth !!!!
      Most kind ;))

  22. Love me some Pharrell Williams! Well done on the newsletters! I hope you have a Paris Breakfasts Book of all your blog posts! I'd definitely buy it! Thanks for spreading the Happiness!!!


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