Sunday, October 22, 2006

Almost French

 Mother's Day/fete des Meres was about to be celebrated last May and every window was full of candied almonds or dragée.

A traditional gift for any French celebration: weddings, babtisms, anniversaries and of course Mother's Day. Dragée originated in Verdun in the Lorraine and goes back to the time of Louis XIV. Made first as a sort of drug by apothecaries, their purpose was to purify the breath and facilitate digestion.

While in Bayonne I spotted this huge poster outside one of the best chocolate shops, Daranatz,  demonstrating the process. Always in France great attention to detail.

 Pretty cornets full of dragée in a Paris vitrine/window.

Les Bonbons in the 6th arrondissement had jars and jars of them as does Au Bonbon du Palais.

In Sarah Turnbull's, Almost French, you step into her shoes and live her life with a French boyfriend in Paris. A vibrant, young Australian journalist, Turnbull makes all the faux pas of any foreigner adjusting to France. On one occasion her Frenchman sends her out to get dragée for a celebration. She brings home the wrong color and a great fuss is made. Attention to detail is key in France.


  1. Anonymous11:54 PM

    The colors in these photos are absolutely delicious and the history of these almond confections is very intersting. How would one know which color to bring home for which occasion?

  2. Pink!!
    The dragees lined with a thin layer of chocolate are my favorites!
    The Godfather or Godmother buy the dragees for the celebration of a baptism or wedding.
    They are delicious, not hard but with a delicate crunch!
    Hope you are enjoying Paris!

  3. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Dear Carol,
    I've been impressed by your paintings,so I try to send you a mail writing you about my experiences during the months a lived in Paris,Art,Colours and trying to explain you some new colours that hardly you´ve heard about("Albero"yellow,"Zahíno"black,"Grana"pinky red...).Maybe you're interesting in discover not only the colours of Earth that you found in Siena or Firenze,the Ideal fantasy colours that you´re discovering in the Paris"rues&boulevards"...I think you have to find the colours of human Nature...Life,Passion,Love,Music and also Death,Hate,Silence...These feelings than only genious as Velázquez,Picasso,Hemingway or Welles could express.
    If you'd like to talk about that,also about Paris,please let me know.Sure you´ll have a lot of things to do but maybe this could be a good one.
    Thank you for making me remember of those sensations I feel sous le ciel de Paris,

  4. the boxes and candy look absolutely delicious

  5. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Oh, and they are truly in 'Marie Antoinette' colors... Look as good as they taste...

  6. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Carol, I pray you have had a safe trip. How long will you be staying. Are you there now? And what lovly painting have you done.
    Sorry so excited you have no idea.
    Have a wonderful day.

  7. Anonymous1:17 PM

    So sweet of you to schedule posts before leaving. Thanks

  8. Anonymous3:27 PM

    It's PARIS GREY SKIES here and beaucoup de pluie(rain)!
    BEAUCOUP ces soire..but no problem..
    I got a haircut, ate one bite of an Eric Kayser croissant, bought watercolor paper, visited easily 4-5 cafes, and took 100 photos
    Not bad for a first day..Oh & I bought a they are yellow. No dyes jobs I guess.
    I'm having FUN so don't worry :)
    I'll keep you posted when I can get the other guests off the American keyboard here :)

  9. how beautiful and delicious...Nel

  10. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Oh everything looks so fresh and new! Your joy at being in Paris shows in your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  11. An eye pleasing delicious post!
    Simply delightfull!Pastel colors are so

  12. I adore dragées (é = Alt+130 - Your 'é' appears as a square on my computer for some reason)

    These pics are adorable. :-)

  13. The colors are beautiful!

  14. Anonymous2:09 PM

    I'm still having way too much fun in PARIS!
    I got a slew of desserts here and I am having a competition. Of course I am the judge and jury...more to come on that later. I'm little fatigue. I'm pretending I never heard the word jet-lag but I did fall asleep for 2 hrs at 8AM!? till 10AM..Then dragged myself out and after snacking on a coffee ice cream cone felt much better :)
    There should be a pre-post almost ever other day for those who show up wondering where PB is.

  15. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I just found a website where they have over +100 different dragee colours available and you can even personalise them with your own message or logo, What a great idea...

  16. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Oeps I forgot to share the website

    enjoy ;-)


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