Monday, September 18, 2006

Les Bonbons

Someone commented on the pigment store post saying, "You must feel like a kid in a candy store". You know what they say about people who work in the candy store or bakery...after a while they can't look at the candy much less eat it. Color is a different story, and I'm often surprised and inspired by the color combinations people pull off the shelves and put together... With all my running around to fancy, deluxe chocolate shops last May in Paris, M. said I MUST not miss a charming confiserie up the street on #6, rue Brea, 75006. Les Bonbons is only slightly larger than my closet...Small as Les Bonbons is, it's famous for it's vast selection of bonbons à l'Anciennes (old fashioned candies) from all regions of France. Plus they have confitures (preserves), miels (honey), pain d'epice (ginger cake) and gateaux (cakes) and chocolat (chocolate) of course. Most pf their products are fabrication artisanale, i.e.made in small factories with less than 50 workers.Les Bonbons' shelves are lined with too numerous to count apothecary jars. Note the ROSE labels everywhere* I loved the look of these toothpaste-like tubes filled with crème de marron, a traditional recipe of chestnuts, vanilla, sugar and water from the Ardèche, but I didn't buy any... This shop is like a musée de confisierie (candy museum) for all the variety offered. I've seen these yellow tins at Dean & Deluca. Sometimes the outer packaging seems like it might be more interesting than the candy inside...decisions, decisions. I did finally choose these innocent looking foil-wrapped sardines. They're in fact filled with rich, dark chocolate ganache and just one sardine goes a long way on the satisfaction scale.Now here's the mystery in most Paris chocolate shops - giant tins of many varieties of thé (tea). The French take it for granted that thé et chocolat are a natural pair as an afternoon snack? More to come on this.


  1. Lovely post.

    I would buy the tinned candies cuz I love the tins!

    To me chocolate isnt well-paired to tea.. it MUST be consumed with gallons of milk. I can see doing the tea with the non-choco sweets and especially with sweet bread/bakery items but the tea always has to have milk.

    I know, is it infantile of me? To always be reverting back to the milk :-) Cant help it!

  2. My 32 sweet teeth are tingling -- and I am drooling all over my computer!! WHAT A PHENOMENAL PLACE!!!! I'd be on a perpetual sugar high - I wouldn't be able to resist the first luscious bite! ADORE the painting ... and the colors you render -- WOWZA!

  3. Anonymous7:11 AM

    I love those sardines!
    I happen to have the exact same set of black tea tins with flowers and birds!
    How odd.

  4. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Oooh, this reminds me---let's go for tea and chocolate somethings to Mariages Freres, want to? I know I'm going to gain a zillion pounds in two days of hanging around with you in Paris, Mme. Chocolat Elle-meme.

  5. Another enjoyable morning walking with you in Paris. Then back again in time to start the day painting...And no jet lag.
    Thanks for the treat!

  6. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Thank you Paris Breakfast for takeing me with you. I'm so inspired!! Just Fabulous.

  7. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I'm not big on sardines, but that kind I think I could develop a fondness for!

  8. what a fabulous new place to add to my "to do" list for the next visit to beautiful paris! i wonder if they carry those little tins of "Flavignys a la violettes"--at least i *think* that's what they're called! :-)

  9. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Oh yes, tea and chocolate - just my kind of afternoon snack... The sardines are wonderful... were you there around April fools day???

  10. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Tea and chocolate is an interesting combination. I've always thought coffee and chocolate went together better but I have not tried the other. I love these photos and your watercolor is lovely ...

  11. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Your paintings are très délicat!
    Cela me fait plaisir de voir la petite boutique "Les Bonbons" (le "magasin" c'est plus important)
    La Professeur

  12. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Mmmm, my mouth is watering.

    By the way, have you read Colour by Victoria Finlay? It is among my favorite books.

  13. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Your blog is sooooo gorgeous!! I love the colours that jumps out from the screen :)

  14. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Just found your site via Danny a francophile and an artist I am very inspired...thanks!

  15. Okay Carol you must take me with you...tea chocolate and color my world with a perfect palette!

  16. Anonymous1:23 AM

    Great post, thank you! Also, there is another wonderful article - about French chocolate. It has some history and even recommends the best wine/chocolate combinations, which I found to be absolutely delicious. It's for real gourmets!


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