Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fraise Tagada

 Le Saut du Loup, watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"

On Palm Sunday, I met Misha for a promenade around Paris. The weather was unbelievably sunny. Every Parisien was outside, occupying every cafe seat and every spot on the grass at the Tuileries gardens. We escaped to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs nearby for tea.
 From Le Saut du Loup's website shows their streamlined, geometric, black and white dining room.

When the super, elegant tea arrived, alongside came this triangular-tray contraption laden with free goodies, and the conversation turned to candy memories. Besides sugar cubes and rock hard so-called "chocolate chip cookies" was FRENCH PENNY CANDY. Pink La Guimauve (marshmallows).
And on the front right are the reknown FRAISE TAGADA.

These strawberry-flavored marshmallows are loaded with memories for French kids as Proust's Madeleine. M. says the "tagada" comes from the imagined sound of horse hoof beats
"ta-ga-da, ta-ga-da, ta-ga-da"
Haribo created Fraise Tagada in 1969 -1 billion of these candies are sold per annum in France.

Immediately after, I kept seeing Fraise Tagada everywhere! The candy stall pictured above is at the Odean Metro station.
And at BLEU DANS L'ILE, with a huge array of caramels...

Here they're being sold on the Pont Neuf . Forget the view. Take a good look at the penny candy. Stories lurk in these sweets.

My first travel excursions at age 6-7 were to Anthony's Drug store, Elkins Park to puruse stacks of penny candy. That was when penny candy actually cost 1 penny. My search for adventure has never ceased since thanks to penny candy.

Here's the funny thing about France. The French are unafraid to be exceedingly silly. Our concept of them as the ultimate in chicness went right down the drain
Or rather I'll suggest they can be supremely, chicly silly when they choose to.I showed you their silly Easter shenanigans. Here top French pastry chef, Christophe Felder  demonstrates how you can use Fraise Tagada in a sophisticated cocktail. And he's got a cookbook creating more recipes from penny candy.
Who knew?

For the absolute heights of silliness and not to be outdone by Lindt's Gold Bunny car, here is Renault's Twingo covered completely in FRAISE TAGADA! What do you make of that?
Pretty goofy, non?


  1. That was a great look around. How lucky you are to be able to see all of these special things. connie from Texas

  2. I think the lesson Connie, is we run to Paris for a shot of chic and elegance and often miss the more interesting stories hidden in the quotidien objects of daily living...
    Unless we have a friend like M., who shares with us her memories and helps us to see more

  3. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Hi, I just SOOO wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog.
    I found it a few weeks ago and totally enjoy it.
    love your artwork.
    love all the pictures of the shops.
    My big dream in life is to spend 3 weeks of my life in Paris someday.
    At the moment I am in the middle of the big woods in Wisconsin.
    So thank you so much for a bit of Paris!!!

  4. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I'd never heard of the Fraise Tagada, so this is great! (Do they taste disgusting, or are they good!?) They look like the kind of thing kids would love!

  5. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I want the strawberry candy car!!!
    Mignon et Miam, Miam!

  6. Anonymous10:30 AM

    You show us a whole other side of the French!
    Not what I expected at all :O

  7. Anonymous11:47 AM

    There are so many silly things (and people) throughout the world... I think the French can have their share !!!

    My children and I visited the Sweet Museum in Provence... They loved to follow the history of Haribo's confectionery...
    They used to love their fraises Tagada, their jelly crocodiles and their mini-oursons...

  8. Ah! what a fantastic post toady.
    That tray contraption you talked about - I used to sell them on, they are called Tipsy Trays from a company in Italy called Banal Extra and you can swing them as high as you like an nothing falls off. Honestly it's to do with centrifugal force. We used to play with them for hours.

  9. I typed toady instead of today. Mistake just in case you thought I was referring to you as Toady.

  10. Anonymous12:45 PM

    I'm mad for that triangular tray thing...It's the first I've seen like it!

  11. Yes, I always found the French had a highly developed sense of humor--or irony?--about themselves. And, of course, my in-laws are hilariously crazy, no holds barred.

    I love French penny candy! We used to have a stand at the corner of our street. Sébastien misses it.

    Carol, about the French tap water you mentioned on my blog--any idea why it's better for watercolors? It has a LOT of chalk in it. Could that be why?

  12. Anonymous3:54 PM

    I do NOTHING whith Fraises Tagada. It’s not good for what i have !!!!!!!
    I eat real spanish fraises now, with crème chantilly...........
    it’s not very light,

  13. Thanks for these wonderful, sweet impressions from Paris.
    Best regards, Monika

  14. Aw, I always wanted to buy candy from that stand by Odeon, but...never did. Doh. Well. I hope I get another chance someday. :[

    Thanks for all the great photos and penny candy history. :)

  15. Now all these lovely pictures and thoughts gave me the energy boost I I go!!!

  16. Anonymous8:17 AM

    What a great job on that watercolor teabag and squared-off teapot!
    Really nice--
    Interesting spoon, too!

  17. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Non, ma maman ne me donnait pas des fraises Tagada quand j’étais petite...mais je l'adore maintenant!
    C G

  18. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Penny candy !
    I think you could make a mud puddle a chocolate wonder!
    What a fun, creative and silly delicious post about Paris!
    I will never look at those fake bon bons the same way!

  19. What a great tribute to the Tagada candies, I linked back to it from my post on the Tagada Candy cars that were driving through my neighborhood yesterday:


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