Les timbres au chocolat

Mailboxes across France are smelling a little better recently.

Because last month, La Poste released a limited-edition of, yes, chocolate stamps—or des timbres au chocolat.


When I saw them over at La Cuisine de Babeth, I raced over to my local branch of La Poste and asked to buy a sheet. When the woman behind the counter handed the sheet over, the smell of chocolate wafted towards me as well. And lifting it up to my face, sure enough, the stamps smelled like pure, dark chocolate.

(Of course, in America, they’d have to put warnings all over the place because someone would try to eat them.)

So, of course, I asked for three more sheets, because I just couldn’t resist. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all these stamps, but I don’t think you can never have enough chocolate, no matter what size or shape it comes in. Or affranchissement*.


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  • sophia
    June 11, 2009 12:20pm

    how absolutely brilliant!
    they do look good enough to eat, tho

  • Jonathan
    June 11, 2009 12:31pm

    those look very cool.
    so how do they taste?


  • June 11, 2009 12:36pm

    only in france. well, maybe in belgium, non?

  • Dana
    June 11, 2009 12:36pm

    Oh, they are beautiful! Lucky!

  • Lillianne
    June 11, 2009 12:36pm

    I think I can smell them a little bit on my computer screen. ummmmmm

  • June 11, 2009 12:36pm

    that’s belgium.

  • I get excited enough when I get a “real handwritten letter” in the mail – now if it had a chocolate stamp on it? Well, I’d be dancing for weeks!

  • June 11, 2009 1:07pm

    Gorgeous! Now you’ll have impetus to write long, lingering letters to your friends and family back home so that you can handle these fantastic stamps – so much better than the wacky scratch and sniff stickers that were popular when I was a child.

  • June 11, 2009 1:17pm

    Only in Paris! These are the kinds of little things we love.

  • June 11, 2009 1:33pm

    oh. my. and they’ve got to taste like chocolate. RIGHT??

    -p.s. thanks for your note in reply to my comment about my caramelized whie chocolate trials. I did notice that you suggest in your post that a grainy caramel can be smoothen out by straining it, but mine (first batch, at least) wasn’t too bad and it really didn’t bother me, so I just left it as is. Or I can just say I was too lazy… :) thanks anyway!

  • June 11, 2009 1:39pm

    Yup, another reason why I simply must make France my home one day. I can take all the idiosyncrasies if I can feel a chocolate high just by mailing a letter.

  • June 11, 2009 2:12pm

    I’m blushing the great David is talking about me ;-) The chocolate smell is really well done :-)

  • bangzoom
    June 11, 2009 2:15pm

    mmmmmmm………choooooocolate. David, I’ve been a longtime lurker and this is my first comment here. Thanks for this wonderful blog. I just had to tell you that I tried the tart crust recipe you posted from Paule Caillat and I got rave reviews!! Now everyone thinks I’m such a talented baker…..little do they know how easy it was. Thanks again and keep up the great posts!

  • June 11, 2009 2:18pm

    That is so cool! When you lick them do they taste like chocolate instead of gross sticky glue stuff?

  • June 11, 2009 3:13pm

    Chloé Doutre-Roussel, Madame Chocolat herself, had sent me an article in Le Point about a month ago, announcing the new stamps, upon the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of cocoa bean in Bayonne. I immediately put one of my friends in France on the mission (of getting me a sheet of course!), and she put a post-it sticker on her calendar for May 25th to pick some up. Well they sure are a hot item in Chalon-sur-Saone – they’ve been sold out and are still waiting for more to come in! Alas, I remain chocolate-stampless here in Zürich ! :( But enjoying (just for now I hope!) the closer look here on your site, thanks !

    Did you check out part of the celebration in Paris, les Journées du Chocolat on May 23rd and 24th ? Just curious what that was all about… ?

  • June 11, 2009 3:37pm

    How very cool…my stamps have the liberty bell them and while it is nice, it’s not chocolate…

  • June 11, 2009 3:45pm

    Seriously, that is just too cool! Chocolate stamps that smell like chocolate? Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a mould, those look absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing, David, reading your blog is like taking a virtual holiday in Paris. Better in some ways – if I was really there, I doubt I would have found chocolate stamps.. :)

  • June 11, 2009 4:09pm

    this seems to be really funny, but what are they waiting to change the glue you have to lick on a stamp with some special chocolate glue ? :D
    it would be even funnier (and I think about other flavors for the glue, for example coco, buckwheat or even candies :D)

  • June 11, 2009 4:44pm

    Oh I wish we had such beautiful stamps in the US. Actually stamps that didn’t go up in price ever few months would be great, but chocolate would be appreciated as well.

  • June 11, 2009 4:57pm

    Such a great idea!

  • amq
    June 11, 2009 6:28pm

    send me a postcard! une carte postale!

  • ni
    June 11, 2009 8:04pm

    wow, i thought they were chocolates that looked like stamps and not the other way around! Can we buy it online? lol

  • sophia
    June 11, 2009 8:05pm

    what what what

    no way! it’s like my childhood with all the scratch and sniff stickers. i want i want! hopefully they have there here in the good ol’ US of A

  • Adele Cotton
    June 11, 2009 8:28pm

    I’m with Michaela. Only in France.

  • June 11, 2009 8:28pm

    Oh my god! These are like, the awesomest thing ever!!!!

  • ritanyc
    June 11, 2009 8:39pm

    No calories from sniffing stamps that look like chocolate that looks like stamps! That would be great for “le regime”, my French term of the day from Sweet Life, which is so good I am reading it forward and backward so I don’t miss anything!

  • june2
    June 11, 2009 9:12pm

    Are you living in Heaven or what?! Your world is made just for you! haha…

  • June 11, 2009 9:22pm

    Gorgeous. I am a bit of a stamp hunter. Not to collect but to actually use and delight the person who receives my envelope. One moment of beauty in another hectic day.
    Cheers, Amy

  • Susan O.
    June 11, 2009 11:04pm

    I’d have to have some sort of something that required a handwritten and mailed invitation to use them and send delight. Perhaps an invitation to a chocolate tasting, or a late evening dessert party…

  • Linda H
    June 11, 2009 11:19pm

    Those are the best stamps ever. I wish they were available in the US. I know I’d write more letters.
    I do have a chocolate garden, though. Cocoa bean hulls are sold by the bag for use as mulch. For a week or two the garden smells fabulously of chocolate before it dissipates. Chocolate and roses make a great scent combination! The rich dark red-brown color stays all summer, which is very pretty.
    I still feel jealous about the stamps.

  • June 11, 2009 11:46pm

    Oh wow. Another reason to live in Paris. Do they taste like chocolate when you lick them?

  • June 12, 2009 12:24am

    Wow! Incredible! I’m in love with these stamps. As an amateur stamp collector myself, I’d race over to buy them too. Do you think there’s a way to get them in the states?

  • June 12, 2009 2:30am

    Joseph and ni: The link takes you to the site of La Poste where they do ship, although I couldn’t determine if they ship internationally as the form requires you to register before you could get to the part about shipping.

    And I didn’t want to register since I have plenty of stamps! But if you do, let us know.

  • June 12, 2009 2:58am

    When I went to France recently and got myself these stamp, I thought to myself how deeply french this idea was!

  • stephanie
    June 12, 2009 3:08am

    Honestly, I would know nothing about Paris if it was not for you and your blog: restaurants, food specialty shops, kitchen gear and now chocolate stamps!

    Today I am off to the post office because I have to have these!! Luckily I have a couple free hours because you know how long the post office lines are. What are the chances they will actually have them!!

  • Katarina Johansson
    June 12, 2009 4:09am

    They are beautiful! You could frame them and make some kind of small “smellie holes” :D

  • Katarina Johansson
    June 12, 2009 4:10am

    Or even better! Send me a letter! I want to smell one of those! he he he

  • June 12, 2009 7:16am

    This is amazing. I am getting married later in the year and would love to use some sweet stamps on my invitations. Just the thought is making me twitchy just thinking how I could manage the logistics. ;)

  • June 12, 2009 8:22am

    So cool! I agree wtih Sophia, these are like my childhood scratch-n-sniff stickers, only better!

    These are really neat.

    Now, if we can make molded chocolates that look like stamps, and make some shortbread “postcard” cookies to affix them to! (or am I getting a little too carried away here?)

  • June 12, 2009 8:25am

    How on earth did I miss these? I’m headed over to the post office this afternoon. Are they really not edible? Do they come with a date de perimation? ;)

  • Moi
    June 12, 2009 8:53am

    Thanks for the link. I placed an order yesterday from the US, and everything went through. There is a drop down menu when you place your order that allows you to select your country. They should be here in about two weeks.

  • June 12, 2009 8:56am

    Moi: Thanks!

    Although because of the demand, I was thinking of staring a little stamp-selling side business for a little extra pocket money..!

  • June 12, 2009 9:14am

    Who thought this up? These are the kind of idea people we need over in the US!

  • Sasha
    June 12, 2009 9:40am

    If you don’t know what to do with them, you can always send me a postcard :-)

  • June 12, 2009 9:44am

    I wouldn’t be mad if you wanted to send me a letter with one of those yummy stamps affixed to the front :)

  • June 12, 2009 9:47am

    Oh wow! hehehehe….awesome! stamp that smells like chocolates!

  • June 12, 2009 12:34pm

    Hey, are we all going on vacation with you? If so, where are we headed? Should we pack sun screen? I’ll buy the post cards if you bring the stamps!

  • June 12, 2009 1:45pm

    Tell me you weren’t tempted to take a little lick? Just a small one?

  • June 12, 2009 3:05pm

    This is such a cool idea!

  • amy
    June 12, 2009 3:52pm

    I think I’d like some.

    The chocolate stamps. And it looks amazing. Hah. : )

  • June 12, 2009 8:22pm

    I think I’d have to frame a set. Those are beautiful!!

  • BigSis
    June 13, 2009 3:57pm

    Gorgeous! I’ve never seen anything like this!

  • Franki Kohler
    June 15, 2009 6:36pm

    Very nice indeed. Why not use one of those to mail off a postcard to me? I promise I’ll return a fabric postcard to you. Go to http://www.postmark‘dart.com to see some of the incredible art my group is making. Franki

  • June 16, 2009 2:23pm

    You can send us all a postcard!

  • June 16, 2009 2:55pm

    I would love to smell them too. I know you are really busy but I would love to receive even just an envelop with an awesome and smelly stamp. My coworkers will envy me. I am kidding…….

    I reallyyyyy love your blog. Man you are a great inspiration for a lot of people working in kitchens and chefs dreaming to one day be like u. Great sense of humor, educative and inspirational blog that you have. The best without a doubt.

    Have a great day and keep enjoying the beauty of Paris

    Luis Jasso

  • Salil
    June 20, 2009 2:00pm

    My chocolate stamps arrived today ! And they look and smell divine ! What a brilliant idea. I live in the US, so yes, you can order them from here and they arrived in a week or so.

  • Moi
    June 20, 2009 5:00pm

    Mine arrived today as well! Only problem was that I wasn’t home, so the postman took ’em back to the post office till Monday. That was quick though, it only took 8 days.