Thursday, January 31, 2013

comme un petit sac

P comme un petit sac
You can walk into almost any shop in Paris and request just one of something:
One macaron
one caramel
one cupcake
No one will look down their nose at you. Giving yourself a little/petite treat/une peche mignon is OK. But often the vendeuse will respond to your request with what sounds a lot like, “Empty sac Madame?'
She's asking if you'd like a little sac/bag for your single treasure. The French are given to compressing words like an accordian so:
petit becomes p'tit or sounds just like T
So many times I've asked myself why is she asking me if I want an empty sac? C'est comme ça
And don't forget to ask for a sticker or two.
Un p'tit sticker is nice to put on your p'tit Molekine. The French are big on the word p'tit. For example p'tit dejeuner & les p'tits refers to kiddies.
Have you been to La Pistacherie? They have a BIG array of p'tit sacs starting at just 50 grams.
Their collection of pistachios from around the world could never be called p'tit! These are from Grec and semi-salted.
5, Place de l'Alma 75008
Henri Le Roux is known especially for his CBS - caramels au beurre sale
I died and went to heaven when I tasted a 'orange gingimbre' - not to be missed. Try one!
1 rue de Bourbon le Chateau 75006
I was curious about Christolphe Adams’ new eclair shop, L'Eclair de Genie in the Marais after seeing his pastries at SIRHA
I got his 'baguette' eclaire which comes already wrapped in a newspaper bag. The vendeuse proceeded to place it inside another sac, but I requested un p'tit boite instead. Inside was a thin plaque of milk chocolate sandwiched between 2 layers of chocolate-flavored whipped cream plus a layer of framboise jam on the bottom half. Unique.
14, rue Pavee 75004
It's easy to end up with a big collection of p'tit sacs in Paris.
What to do with them?
Hmmm...What French expressions do you know that begins with p'tit? 


  1. It's always such a treat to see Paris via your search for something tasty!

    When I lived in Paris I learned to say "Oui" like a Parisienne, in which you do not actually pronounce the word as much as you simply inhale it. Have you heard that yet?

    1. I hear 'WAY' many times minus the inhalation...

  2. Oh, after grazing through all your newest temptations, I'd be so happy to have a p'tit 'orange gingimbre'! *dream*

    1. I could probably mail you ONE Merisi!! :)

  3. p'tit a p'tit
    p'tit gris
    p'tit four
    There are a LOT OF p'tits!!

  4. That transparent sac is elegant, letting one adore the macaron. I like: "Si on prenait un petit café." Your Moleskine is like an old fashioned suitcase (full of treasures) with its collants....My French teacher doesn't let us say "WAY", says it doesn't have enough politesse for a visiting student of French...esp. a student d'un certain âge... She said it's like "Yeah." I picture you flying about Paris & landing at all these destinations! " Bon après-midi. R.

  5. Oh and that newspaper bag: it's the one Isabelle has at Mornings in Paris!

    1. It's easy to fly around Paris when you have a monthly carte Navogo...
      But tomorrow I go back to being Cinderella and the pumpkin, new month - no carte
      I will feel less free for sure
      So many rules to learn in French but many speak slang even the upper crust...

  6. Love your painting, Carol. Reminds me of the fête du macaron last year; great fun. Remember asking for a big bag for all our p'tit macaron loot bags? What a hoot! Yep, it was a p'tit problème. Hm. Pistacherie. Never thought of asking for empty wee bags and putting my homemade ones in them. Sneeky!

    1. I doubt they would sell the p'tit sacs minus the Pistacheria but you could probably charm them to do so Jill

  7. Thank you Thank you for doing this heavenly blog....I'm only back to the states 3 months and I am already planning my next trip....bringing my dearest friend who has never been!!
    You give me the dose of this great city I need to get me through my wait!!!!

  8. Your phrase "compressing the words like an accordion" is so much better than "elision." My neighbors loved, loved, loved the Henri Le Roux caramels! See you soon. OK?

  9. Love little bags and stickers:)

    All familiar sounds to me of course:)

  10. Un tout petit peu plus s.v.p. / A little bit more please.
    Your post today was full of all the things you show you're passionate about. I just loved it, give us more. I hope you don't have to be Cinderella for long :-)

  11. Anonymous9:14 AM

    I do read your posts (almost) every day and just love your musings on the loveliness of Paris. Have you ever considered writing a book about your experiences in Paris? You truly have a unique perspective and I could see a combination of visuals and text that would make it very popular. Just a thought…..

    1. Working on it bien sur Claudia
      The best reason to be in Paris!

  12. Patricia in Brasil9:32 AM

    I just can't stop reading your posts!...

    You talk about everything I also love the most: Paris, ballerinas, cakes, macarons, London, anything beautiful and truly enjoyable.... and, for me it is the cherry on the top of this delicious cake, all filled with the most gorgeous watercolors..... oh, be still my heart!!
    Thank you so much for sharing so many beautiful experiences and colors!
    Wishing you all the best!
    With joy from Brazil,

  13. Oh my! I can't imagine using one of those lovely p'tit sacs to pick up the puppy's p'tit caca! But it is nice to know that someone is thinking of cleaning up after the dogs in Paris. Merci.

    1. Yr so funny Connie! Paris chine have everything elegant...ahem

  14. Carol, you continue to send us such wit and visual delight from Paris! I love your watercolor journal.

    The petit sac concept is also to be found when one visits Kee's Chocolates on Thompson Street here in NYC. I stop by every so often for an exotic macaron.

    Thank you for reminding me I must buy a new MetroCard today! xo

    1. Ah yes...Kees but that tiny boutique has a very French feel doesn't it...

    2. Mais oui, Carol. It is so funny to think that Kee's is only a few minutes' walk from Ben's Pizza, where petit definitely does not enter into the menu.


  15. Anonymous2:44 PM

    I am so glad I found your blog. It allows me to dream of Paris, my favorite city, and to remember some effective elements in painting that you have nailed. Thank you for the lessons and the dreams of what could have been.


  16. Anonymous2:50 PM

    I think you do a great job with both brush and camera. I am really enjoying your daily posts

  17. As you know mon francaise est un p'tit terrible.....

    but the 'little bit' thing is why French women eat EVERYTHING and are not fat.
    They just eat a petit morceau and not a gigundo plate full as per the US......
    Miss you!
    Buster misses you!

  18. How can you even ask what to do with those sacks? After you paint them, collage them!!!

  19. I love the packaging of the Paris shops.
    I love the bread in the newspaper bag.......

  20. Excuse me while I channel my inner 7-year-old and have a giggle attack over the p'tits...

  21. I agree with Jeanette, M o L, collage them!

  22. "un petit peu" (a little bit)
    Love the pistachios! fun post, Carol

  23. Anonymous1:16 AM

    More expressions with "petit" :

    petit coin (aller au petit coin: go to the toilet [for kids])

    petit ami (boyfriend)

    petit-beurre (butter cookie)

    petit-fils (grandson)

    petit doigt (pinkie finger)

    Patricia H

  24. Oh my, La Pistacherie and Henri Le Roux both immediately added to the wishlist! I have had Le Roux caramels before- so delicious. I'm not so sure about the baguette eclair though.

  25. Gosh I love the eclair shop! Wish i knew it was there when i was last in Paris. Love your blog btw and your water colour drawings.

  26. Anonymous5:40 PM

    I want to live there.
    Amazing -
    thanks so much for your blog


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