The Little Paris Chocolate Shop

MBC, Bluebonnet and Madam Acabo

Last week I visited Paris, France! MBC and I were celebrating our birthdays, and recalled that last year we celebrated in Paris, Texas. This year, we were photographed in front of the Eiffel Tower again—the original one! MBC posted lots of pictures of me visiting historic landmarks on our Facebook pages.
But there was one very special visit that I want to tell you about. A l’Etoile d’Or (Golden Star) is located at 30 Rue Pierre Fontaine in Paris, just down the street from the famous Moulin Rouge. Madam Denise Acabo is the owner of what has been called “the most famous chocolate store in Paris.”
Her uniform is a plaid kilt and necktie, and she wears her hair in braids. She’s a survivor of an accidental gas explosion that destroyed her store in February, 2014. But the shop has been restored with beautiful mirrors and woodwork, and is filled with delicious candies from all over France.
We visited the shop in search of the famous French Christmas candy, the papillot. The legend of this candy stems from Lyons, France, shortly after the French Revolution. Sir Paillot was a candy-maker, and one of his apprentices was in love with a young laundress who worked above the candy shop. To show his love to her, the apprentice would write a message of love inside glossy paper and wrap it around a piece of candy, then give it to his beloved.
He was caught stealing the candies by Sir Palliot, who dismissed him. Then, Sir Palliot realized that the young man’s idea of wrapping candies in paper with special messages was a brilliant marketing strategy. (Some say he re-hired his apprentice, some say he stole his idea.) He called his new product “Papillote.” It’s now a popular Christmas tradition in France to eat these famous chocolate bon-bons.
Some Papillotes have small firecrackers inside them that give a loud “POP” when the ends of the paper wraps are pulled. Alas, we learned from Madam Acabo that these candies are only available in her shop at Christmas time, so we were not able to purchase any. “Seulement à Noël,” she said. (Only at Christmas.)
But we did find lots of chocolate choices, which Madam Acabo described and let us sample, aided by her most able assistant. We left the shop with an ample supply of mouth-watering chocolates and candy. As the French say: “ooo-la-la!”
Madam Acabo had never seen an armadillo, but you can see from the pictures she took quite a liking to me. In thinking back over my trip, this visit to “the most famous chocolate shop in Paris” just may be my favorite memory.
Au revoir and remember “Continuez à lire et à écrire!” (Keep reading and writing!)
Bluebonnet Armadillo

MBC and Bluebonnet with Madam Denise Acabo