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bonnat bars

You get a little lazy living here. At least I do. And because I’m not as spry as I used to be, if someone proposes a trip that’s more than one métro change away, I usually find a way to opt out of it. Arrondissements that are far, far away, like the 15th or the 17th, may as well be on the outside of the périphérique (or l’hexagone, for that matter) and I haven’t stepped foot in the likes of them in years.

One place that’s worth going out of my way for is A l’Etoile d’Or, and I broke my cardinal rule when Cenk from Café Fernando came to Paris for a visit and he asked me where to meet up.

cenk & denise french chocolates

I’ve known Denise Acabo, who lords over her confectionery wonderland, even before I moved to Paris, when I’d stop in and gawk at all the amazing chocolates and confections.

But when you live somewhere, after a while, you just don’t get to those places as often as you’d like—if at all. (I used to live about two hours from Niagara Falls, and I never went there, either.) Her shop is amazing and I could easily spend hours poking through all the glass jars and metal tins lining the glass shelves. But one thing I’ve learned living in France, which I’ve had to explain to more than one impatient visitor who was tapping their foot by the door, waiting for me: relationships are very important and if someone wants to talk to you, you stay and talk.

les chocolats

Like at the market, if you go and buy some lemons from the women who you regularly shop at, you don’t just tell her how many lemons you want, pay her, and split. You say hello, and ask how she’s doing. She’ll tell you…“Ça va, ça va….”…”Okay, okay”, is the usual response. No matter how many people are behind you in line, there’s always time for that interaction. Which is why I often compare France to the bathrooms on airplanes: When you’re waiting, you’re incredibly impatient. But when it’s your turn, suddenly no one else matters and you take all the time in the world.

So when you go to A l’Etoile d’Or, you simply can’t go if you’re in a hurry, because Denise will want to show you everything, and she’s so excited, it’s impossible to resist.

She is famous for being the only place outside of the original shops that carry Bernachon chocolates, including the much sought-after Kalouga, filled with salted butter caramel, which they’d stopped making for a while because the caramel always leaked out. But she claims that she told them to keep making them, just for me, so they kept up production. (I don’t know how true it is, but if you go and get one, you can thank me all the same.)

le roux caramel spread

Then there’s the CBS caramels, which are only outdone by the pâte à tartiner, Henri Le Roux’s salted butter caramel spread. A friend bought two jars, which she planning to bring back to the states, and they were promptly confiscated by security at Roissy airport for falling into the ‘liquid’ category. And therefore, very dangerous. But I would’ve unscrewed the jar and just sat there, lapping up the buttery caramel studded with toasted nuts and sea salt, danger be damned.

Although not my favorite, she’s got a full line of Bonnat chocolate from a bean-to-bar maker in the French alps, which I probably need to taste more of. And her latest love (aside from me) is Franck Kerstener (warning: Euro website, with awfully loud music), a young confectioner whose chocolates are getting prime real estate in her glass showcase, alongside the classics from Bernachon and Monsieur Le Roux.

bernachon chocolate bars

Cenk bought plenty, which isn’t hard to do there, including some of Jacques Genin’s caramels which are worth every centime (each one will set you back more than a hundred of them).

chocolate bar bow-tied chocolate

And right before we left, she slipped a bar of M. Kestener’s chocolate bars in my pocket, which she accompanied by lowering her voice, pulling me close to her with a talon-like grip, saying, “Daveed, it’s a crunchy brown sugar cookie covered with buttery caramel and fleur de sel, then covered in very bitter chocolate. Oh-la-la!” Which she finished by rolling her eyes in a large circle, looking like she’s just seen the second coming of you-know-who.

I know some people consider accepting gifts improper*, but I also know that refusing a gift is considered impolite. So I weighed my options, and reluctantly handed it back to her.

denise acabo salted butter caramel-filled chocolate bar

*Disclosure: I’m lying. I took it. And I ate it.

A l’Etoile d’Or
30, rue Pierre Fontaine (9th)
Métro: Blanche
Tél: 01 48 74 59 55

Related Posts and Chocolate Addresses


La Maison du Chocolat

Jean-Charles Rochoux

A l’Etoile d’Or

The Pâtisseries of Paris Guide

Patrick Roger

Le Furet Tanrade


10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Paris Favorites

Arnaud Larher

The Great Book of Chocolate

Paris Chocolate & Pastry Shop Archives


    • ginny

    you make me soooooooooo want to visit Paris . . . just for the chocolate. i love your blog and read it regularly. thanks for the glimpse into the sensual tastes of your Paris. : )

    • Linds

    Had similar shopping experiences here in Israel – push and shove yourself to the front of the line, but then expect to chat and taste for several minutes before you actually buy. Works great in the market, but it’s more of a drag when you’re at the bank.

    • sinnamon

    Happy Birthday !

    • Mama JJ

    What a splendid shop owner—a great character word-painting. Makes me want to be a chocolate shop owner with long braids and a ginormous laughing smile. I would definitely slip chocolates into the pockets of my favorite customers, too.

    • David

    Mama JJ: Well, I’ve often thought about being her for Halloween, so perhaps it’s not to much of a stretch for you to be, too!

    • Paula

    Denise is so charming! On our recent visit, she chattered non-stop in French (of which I was able to follow the gist of) while wrapping a large pile of Bernachon bars and CBS caramels in lovely gift boxes. Yes, the Kalouga bars are amazing, but equally delicious are the pistachio filled bars. Now with Roux, Genin and some creme fraiche caramels from a vendor at the Bastille market as my guide, I’ve taken up the project of making my own CBS caramels. Have you made your own, or do you have a favorite recipe? I’m still experimenting with the ingredient ratios.

    • Yari

    What a great place to visit. I’ll definitely give it a go next time I’m in Paris.

    • Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    I would have loved to see your friend open up the jar of CBS caramel at airport security and lick the sauce up to protest of the confiscation. I’m sure she would have made Denise proud.
    Happy belated birthday!

    • Jennifer K

    Is Cenk as charming in person as he appears to be in his blog?


    So much chocolate, so little time.
    This store looks amazing and I just looked it up on a map, and I’d go that distance anytime for good chocolate.

    Like driving 3 hours to a chocolate factory within Austria.

    • dawn

    I wish we had more of that type of common talk over here in the states. I love when people take the time….
    that last photo David is killer!

    • Jo & Den

    Having had the pleasure of meeting madame Acabo last spring, I can attest to her unbridled passion for her chocolates & confections. She is truly a Parisian treasure & her little A l’Etoile d’Or is surely a must-go destination for any chocophile.

    After many hugs & bisoux, we left with a wonderful assortment of Bernachon chocolate, an incredibly unctuous chocolate coccinelle filled with the most unbelievable oozy caramel (warning: might not pass the security checkpoint at CDG) & some perfect little toffees called “les verites de la Palisse” – which I hoarded for weeks at work.

    I’ve already instructed my spouse & daughter that these are a must have when they go to Paris in May.

    • Judi

    It makes me sad that I discovered your website after I was in Paris. So many wonderful recommendations and I haven’t been to any of them!

    • Lesley

    I love her store, I find it is the closest thing to Willy Wonka I will ever find. And it’s unique, with candy you want to actually eat (unlike some of the uninspired candy stores around here).

    This was a great expose on her. She is a very nice and warm lady….

    I want some of that caramel sauce!

    • kitchen tigress

    May I ask you a personal question? Did you put on weight after you moved to Paris? Or is it really true there are no fat people in France?

    • Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    I would have taken it too.

    • David

    Diana: Good to see that I’m not the only criminal mind out there~

    Kitchen tigress: Am not sure where the rumor got started that there aren’t fat people in France: a 2009 study showed that 15% of women in France are considered obese and another 26% are considered overweight (putting around 40% in the ‘fat’ category), and the men’s numbers are similar.

    I eat fairly healthy; lots of bread, vegetables, cheese, and some meat and poultry, although chocolate and caramel are my weakness! Thank goodness for the free bikes Paris provides to help work ’em off..

    Jennifer K: He’s a super-duper fellow. We had a terrific time.

    Paula, Jo & Den: Glad you got to meet her. It’s one of the very special places in Paris that couldn’t exist anywhere else. I think when she retires, I’ll have to buy the place to keep it going. Better start growing those pigtails out now, though…

    • Bernadette

    Well isn’t she just cute in those pigtails and she looks so happy (well, of course!)

    David! (Daveeed!)




    • Kathy

    I would have taken the treat and run for the hills! She is delightful in those piggy tails. One day I’ll see some of the places you talk about. In the meantime, I’ll content myself with being another of your gushing fans. :-)

    • Rachel

    OK, this is creepy. I just had a dream about this place last night. I mean, just before waking up this morning, so about 20 before reading this post. And I’ve never even been there (apparently your descriptions of it haunt me). A friend and I are going to Montréal in February for a few days, and I made the plane stop on the way to grab some Bernachon bars (and of course a bit more). Each one was $43 for some reason, but it didn’t deter me. The fact that Paris is most certainly not on the way to Montréal from Edmonton, Alberta didn’t deter me either.

    Is this post a sign? Should I cancel everything and come to Paris instead? Les Parisiens won’t make fun of my accent, at least (and I’ll be able to understand them).

    • Caroline

    The confections sound amazing, but it’s a little unsettling seeing the proprietress dressed as a schoolgirl. Isn’t this what the English call “mutton dressed as lamb”?

    • Jennifer

    Her pigtails are just endearing! She sounds like such a lovely person!

    I always appreciate your glimpses of Parisian life.

    • Lalla

    Hi David

    According the a recent study, 26% of women are overweight and 15% are obese. I think obese women are a subcategory of overweight women, so 26% of French women weigh more than they should.

    Hi Lalla: According to the Reuters report I linked to, it said that “…15.1 percent of France’s women are classed as clinically obese, while a further 26 percent are overweight.” So I presume ‘further’ meant, ‘in addition to’. Thanks for sending that link, and more info. Interesting that both numbers show quite a few French are catching up to their American counterparts. -dl

    • Canadian Karen

    David, I just discovered you thanks to “The Sweet Life In Paris, given to me for Christmas by my husband. I love Paris, I love chocolate, and I love your writing! Who knew Paris, chocolate, and an author with a great perspective and sense of humour (yes, a “u,” I am Canadian, after all) about both were hanging out at our bookstore. Looking forward to making up for lost time by reading your other books. (Ever thought of doing a scratch-and-sniff version?)

    • Kristin

    Madame Acabo looks right out of a story book, what a great smile! Wish I had known about her shop when I was hunting for gourmandises in Paris this summer. Thanks for the lovely, descriptive post. Her shop will definitely be on my next Paris to go to list.

    PS I did get to G. Detou when I was in Paris, thanks to you and Clotilde’s recommendations, and I thought I had died and gone to a tiny piece of heaven! I used some gorgeous dragees I got there to decorate the mendiants I made for after Christmas dinner. And on a side note, it took me several months afterwards before I got the play on words G. Detou (j’ai de tout). Or is it really someone’s name??

    • kellypea

    She’s so cute and the chocolate? Well. Definitely a place to stay and take as much time as one wants. Paris is on my list, but at the rate I’m going, I’ll have to just oogle the glimpses you provide here.

    • Lisa in Seattle

    Love her Julia-esque smile! What a dear. When I grow up, I want to wear pigtails and a school girl outfit, too!

    • Margo

    I just discovered you via “The Sweet Life in Paris,” which I have recommended to all my reader friends. And now for my reading pleasure and Paris fix I have found your blog. Life is sweet.

    • Galit

    I love the human interaction and I miss it a lot now in the U.S because it
    gives you so much more then a shopping experience. You can have some of the most wonderful real conversations over the counter….and the bonbon is just an excuse…
    Food for the thought is not only expression…
    Btw- this is my first comment here- love this website!

    • Bonnie Powers

    The Franck Kerstener website is to die for! What a gorgeous piece of confectionary art! One can even change the music choices. Denise is right to put Kerstener up front…I wouldn’t even get past him to the Bernachon Kalouga! Those Bûche de Noël look scrumptious. We love Denise—and pray that she has a long life!

    • foodloverkathy

    Ahhhh, looks like a chocoholics (that’s me) delight. Just when I decided that I really don’t need a trip to Paris this spring, you post this! I’m drooling on my computer screen for that salted butter caramel one. (I’ll go back to searching for that Paris apartment.)

    • Hannah

    I honestly cannot pick which treat you’ve described here sounds the most heavenliest! Thank you for opening my eyes to this shop – it is absolutely going to be my first stop (after some sort of hotel, I presume) when I get to Paris for the first time in my 22 years early next year. I can’t wait! And also, Happy Birthday!!

    • Dawn

    On our way back to the U.S. in May, we had our soft cheeses from Fromagerie Laurent Dubois confiscated by security at CDG, since they are clearly liquids and dangerous. It was a sad day.

    Now I wish I had gotten the Le Roux caramel sauce when we were at Denise’s shop. Next time…

    • Dawn

    On our way back to the U.S. in May, we had our soft cheeses from Fromagerie Laurent Dubois confiscated by security at CDG, since they are clearly liquids and dangerous. It was a sad day.

    Now I wish I had gotten the Le Roux caramel sauce when we were at Denise’s shop. Next time…

    • Mayumi

    Hi David,
    I was so happy to see you. As you know, Denise and I waited for you for long time. Because thanks of you, we have so many customers who speak English.
    And it’s true that thanks of you, we have “Kalouga” !
    She told me so.

    I hope all of the customers who come this shop have much time to enjoy her story.
    She is a kind of dictionary of the chocolate and confectionaries.
    See you !
    I always read your blog.

    • Cenk

    Did I really miss that salted butter caramel-filled chocolate bar? I don’t know how that happened, but I promise myself to make up for it on my next trip. Thanks again for the wonderful day at A l’Etoile d’Or.

    • Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    It’s so nice to be able to visit Paris through your blog. Until I can make it there in person, I am happy to be a mental traveller. Merci beaucoup. xo, Dawn

    • Cynthia


    My son is currently in Paris and I’m trying to figure out a way for him to bring me back some of that caramel… liquids, eh? dommage.
    But he thinks your “The Sweet Life in Paris” should be required reading for Americans heading across the pond for a visit. Apparently, he ran into some rather stereotypical ones in a cafe this afternoon.

    Merci beaucoup!

    • Maureen in Oakland

    Torture!!! Pure Torture.

    • Gail

    “I think when she retires, I’ll have to buy the place to keep it going.” This quote from David is what many of us who have had the delight to meet Denise and Mayumi at A l’etoile D’or have longed to hear. Visiting Denise is always on our list of “must-do’s” when in Paris. One of my favorites are the cassis filled jelly candy. Both David’s and Cenk’s entries today are to be bookmarked and reread before your next trip to Paris. I’m starting my list today even though I was just there in November!

    • Linda H

    The airport security people are certainly eating well these days.

    • BobY

    A beautiful piece David. The thought of the woman in the market really hit a chord. Bravo!

    • Skippy

    “a crunchy brown sugar cookie covered with buttery caramel and fleur de sel, then covered in very bitter chocolate.”

    Sounds like the best Twix bar ever.

    • suedoise

    I do not understand the confiscations at the airport or is the story about what happens when the CBS Caramel jars let alone runny cheese is discovered by security in the hand luggage? I presume it is a matter of the content of the hand luggage.
    I would ´buy a fine hard cheese (from a grand cheese shop) such as the Beaufort (category “ancien”) quite expensive worth every gram being a
    No Smelly bliss of great aromas and easily packed inside your checked luggage.
    You should be able to pack also the soft never runny Epoisses made by the great Berthaut of Bourgogne, a mild utterly elegant jewel and of course unpasteurized meaning you might not bring it into the US legally. Check on the

    • The Purple Foodie

    I’m diligently reading all your Paris centric posts now that I’m planning a trip in the summer. I love that this is the only place I need to come to for food in Paris.

    • small homes

    It makes me want to go and visit Paris! I love the chocolates! Really makes me crave for some now!

    • Véronique

    I went to Bernachon in Lyon 10 days ago, and they had no Kalouga… Could it be that all production has been sent to Paris? :-) My only hope now is to win a year of Bernachon chocolate bars and ask for one Kalouga among them.

    • David

    Véronique: They run out of them frequently, because 1) The caramel tends to run out of the bars after they’re made, and 2) Everyone buys them!

    When I brought my group there in October, I spent a considerable amount of time telling them they must stock up on Kalouga bars. And, of course, when we got there, they only had 2 or 3 in stock. There is also something in France, that whenever you want something, the store will have everything—but the one thing you went there for! So, of course, at Bernachon, it was the Kalouga bars!

    suedoise: I think because it’s a paste, it got confiscated. I know that peanut butter and similar things aren’t supposed to be taken on board airplanes as well. I did once hear about some Ladurée macarons being confiscated, but I think that was just because the security people wanted un petit snack themselves : )

    (I’ve brought cheese back to the states without any problems, but I do have it shrink-wrapped since once I didn’t and when I opened the overhead compartment, the odor took over the airplane cabin!)

    Cynthia: Glad your son enjoyed the book and helped him cope with la vie parisienne!

    Mayumi: Thanks for your message and glad I made it back! I love the pictures in your blog, too. See you soon : D

    • my spatula

    i would have taken it too. your analogy is oh, so true! while in menerbes last year, at the local butcher shop, the shopkeeper became our new best friend. joyeux anniversaire!

    • Angela

    I’ve such fond memories of the decorative tin my housemate brought back from her first visit to l’Etoile d’Or. With so many chocolate choices, she must’ve been overwhelmed and went, instead, with the simplest of confections: Agen prunes stuffed with Agen prunes! They were insanely good.

    • Angela

    I’ve such fond memories of the decorative tin my housemate brought back from her first visit to l’Etoile d’Or. With so many chocolate choices, she must’ve been overwhelmed and went, instead, with the simplest of confections: Agen prunes stuffed with Agen prunes! They were insanely good.

    • parisbreakfast

    maybe the best candy shop in the world..
    I wish Le Roux made his caramel butter WITHOUT the nuts, not because I’m allergic but why ruin something so perfect?

    • parisbreakfast

    maybe the best candy shop in the world..
    I wish LaRoux made his caramel butter WITHOUT the nuts, not because I’m alergic but why ruin something so perfect?

    • kc

    hi david!

    i went here on yr recommendation to buy chocolates for my parents. once denise greeted me with an enthusiastic “tu” instead of “vous,” i loved the place! she was so cute. when she found out we were americans, she asked if we knew about yr blog instantly and proudly showed us yr book and a picture of you two together.

    unfortunately i never got to try the chocolates. i left them in my host family’s fridge by accident but i hear from them that they were very good. definitely recommend going here! :)

    • Su

    Hi, David! My husband and I made a special trip to A l’Etoile d’Or today, and it was exactly (and as fun) as you describe. We mentioned to Denise that we had found out about her shop via your blog, and although my French is not very good, I’m reasonably sure she said something like “David is such a sweetie!” and pointed out your book on the counter. She may also have said something about the hordes of people who are always begging for Kalouga bars… =)

    • Jim Hooker

    Nothing quite like Denise…went twice…spent $$$$ asking her for this & that & more of that..she told me about the wrapping paper has a story of its own…Etoile d’Or is the simple answer to all questions I have about France…Thanks for the introduction.

    • June

    What a darling lady. You did ABSOLUTELY the right thing to enjoy her gift. By the way, I too just finished reading The Sweet Life in Paris and enjoyed it very much. My husband’s reading it now, though it’s like he already has because he kept asking me what I was “snickering” about and I was happy to tell him. Now I ask him the same question and get to laugh all over again. Love the book(s), enjoy your blog, and watch for your articles in magazines – ya so I’m a fan! Happy New Year!

    • Dawn

    David, we had Fromagerie Laurent Dubois shrink wrap our cheeses, since we’d read that it needed to be sealed for entry into the U.S., and that soft cheeses were ok. We had no idea CDG security would not allow it in our carry-on, though. Next time it’s going into our checked bags.

    • Jyothi

    Not sure if this is where I should be leaving this comment, but couldn’t find a Contact link anywhere.

    Love your website and writing. Until yesterday, I was able to look at your recipe archive in a beautiful thumbnail kind of format with the Vegetarian recipes clearly listed and the yummy pictures showing. Have you made any changes to the format? When I did a search today I couldn’t find it, instead there was a boring and most user unfriendly listing of the recipes which did not inspire me at all to look at them! Hope you’ll go back to the old format.


    • Sharon DC

    Prior to reading your latest, I was vascillating between the warm waters of Costa Rica or Paris in February…..damnit! now I’ll have to do both. Must taste that caramel spread, must have another Kalouga Bar and MUST HAVE that M. Kestener bar!!!! The pictures are ultra delicous! Happy 2010!

    • Blogger Den

    Really interesting blog design you’ve got here. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and you’ve definitely got some talent. Keep up the great posts!

    • KatieJ

    I need to stop reading…it may be a long time to get to Paris for me. And you shamelessly make me want to come and savor every sweet thing Paris has to offer. SIGH!

    • Bonnie

    Last June, I went on my 1st solo trip to Paris – sans husband. Husband collects cork screws (bouchons?) and I had heard the Musee de l’Erotisme on blvd de Clichy had these naughty little numbers shaped like a woman’s legs…oh la la! Great souvenir de Paris, no? That fit in perfectly with a planned visit to the nearby Etoile d’Or. Well…went to the musee, had to be buzzed into the “gift shop” by a burly fellow sitting at the musee’s desk. Turned out to be a really seedy shop. Surprise?! So there I was this middle aged, white haired, very red faced woman in a sex shop! And could I find a corkscrew? NO! And I looked! Scooted out the door hoping no one that I knew would see me exiting a sex shop (now what are the chances – in Paris?). Walked over to Etoile d’Or knowing that chocolate would make everything right with the world. Ms. Acabo had a customer and talked and talked…which gave me time to compose myself and the red face faded…somewhat. Then when it was my turn she talked and talked to me and explained the cartoons on her wrapping paper and made me feel like we were together in this delicious chocolate conspiracy. And the chocolate (and le roux caramels) did make the world right. Ms. Acabo and her shop are treasures.

    • Hannah

    Oh, you’ve got me salivating! That caramel…heaven!

    • David

    Bonnie: Ha! I was walking around in that neighborhood a few weeks ago, alone at night, and let me tell you, a middle-aged man in Pigalle is a prime target for any advances by women working the streets and bars. I didn’t go into any of the establishments, but kudos to you for having the courage to do so!

    Jyothi: The blog is something I spend a lot of time on, and it’s meant to be entertaining as well as a place where I share recipes that I think readers might be interested in. All of the information on the site is free and I’m happy that people come, bake the recipes, get some tips that will enrich their visits to Paris, get a chuckle from the stories, and comment.

    Am not sure what prompts someone to leave a comment that a page on my site is “boring” and “user unfriendly”. I have a few other things on my plate, aside from the site, and while I do strive to make the site as enjoyable as possible, I presume that people realize that I can’t give the site 100% of my attention. That said, if you find the site “boring” and “uninspiring”, and feel compelled to leave an uncomplimentary comment to that effect, perhaps my site isn’t for you.

    Sharon: Well….if I had to choose between Costa Rica or Paris in the middle of winter, I think I’d choose the beach. Even a caramel bar isn’t as inviting as a week in the sun…

    Jim: Yes, it’s easy to rack up the purchases there. But these caramel bars are only €4.5, which I think it pretty reasonable for the amount of work that goes into them, and how good they taste. Still, it’s hard to resist all the other things there. Cenk actually wanted to go back and make another dent in his credit card!

    • marla (Family Fresh Cooking)

    What a tasty virtual tour of the best chocolates!! Funny, the euro music on Franck Kerstener’s site is one that was played in a spin class I used to take. If only I could have been eating one of those brown sugar chocolate goodies on the spin bike….that would have been some workout! The Henri Le Roux salty butter caramel sounds very worthy of a splurge! I would have been bawling if something like that was taken away from me at the airport.
    Happy New Year!

    • Deborah

    Dear David,

    If I ever get to Paris again I will make L’Etoile d’Or my first stop!

    Happy belated birthday and all best wishes for the New Year!

    • lee


    I very much enjoy your blog, and have tried more than one of your recipes because finding a recipe on your blog was easier than finding one in the books on my shelves or even on my hard drive though I swore I put them in the same place and name them obvious things and indeed often find them a month or so later when looking for something else. Also, you have never steered me wrong with a recipe; they have all worked well and been well liked by my family and friends.

    My French teacher and others told me not that there were no fat people in France, but that they did not sell clothing for fat women in France, so there was a big incentive for women not to be fat. For what it is worth, I did not find any clothing to fit me (size 13 in American junior size) when I visited France, though in Germany even boutiques had sizes that fit me well. Maybe they just hide the stores with the bigger clothing, at least where tourists won’t find them? At the time I thought maybe fat women in France ( I saw a few, but not that many) just did their shopping in Germany.

    • David

    lee: That’s interesting that someone told you there were no large people in France. This NPR story, French Take Note of a Growing Trend: Obesity, and interviews a woman who owns a ‘plus-size’ boutique in Paris.

    Since a lot of other people, especially Americans, are fascinated with the French and their fitness, some writers tend to gloss over the reality of the situation in favor of stories that are more glamorous and play to commonly-held beliefs. The French, like other people from other cultures, have their pluses and minuses; and body size is just one of them.

    • Lisa in Seattle

    I think your site is awesome, and I very much appreciate access to your fabulous recipes. Your site is extremely well laid out and easy to navigate (and that’s coming from someone who spent a chunk of life on the software giant’s campus). Not that you need any assurance; but, rest assured, your contribution as a food blogger (and more) is valued by oodles of people. Here’s to another great year of recipes, laughs, and passion for all things sucré!

    • Huda

    Sigh. What a post. Thank you for being on the ‘internets’. Your writing and recipes are very conducive to my creativity in the kitchen and most importantly, my marital harmony. :))

    Happy New Year David.

    • SwanDiamondRose

    “Daveed, it’s a crunchy brown sugar cookie covered with buttery caramel and fleur de sel, then covered in very bitter chocolate. Oh-la-la!”

    ah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yum.

    • Ted Drake

    I visited her shop after reading one of your earlier posts. Sure enough, she was delightful, the chocolate was to die for, and she was equally impressed with you.

    • cat

    Bonjour David,

    Just discovered your blog and I can’t thank you enough for the info concerning Bernachon at L’étoile d’Or – I usually have my “Jour et Nuit” shipped from Lyon…. I’m on my way to miss Pigtails tomorrow ! MERCI !
    Bonne année savoureuse….:o)

    • kp gallant

    I love, love, love Denise Acabo!! I remember I actually ran into her on the rue Bonaparte once and I stopped and looked at her because I had just read an article by Patricia Wells for Food and Wine [1994] that had a piece about L’Etoile d’Or and I recognized her face. She smiled at me and we started talking and she told me she had come over to see “Mulot” and she wondered if I would like to meet him. Of course I said yes, and she took me to his shop on the rue de Seine and introduced me to him and all of his wonderful creations!! She is a gem and her shop is a treasure!!

    • joelle

    Is there any way we could order these chocolates from the US?

    • edina

    I’m sick with grief as I just looked at the jar of Le Roux pâte à tartiner I purchased on my last trip to Paris and realized the expiration date of 12/07/09 means July 12 not December 7. Do you think it’s still safe to eat (hasn’t been opened yet)?

    • Allison

    A question about the pâte à tartiner: is it better to put it in the fridge or leave it out?

    • steven

    okay, wow … reading about it is one thing, but experiencing it?

    We made the trek up to Denise Acabo’s shop yesterday on a quick trip to Paris. Upon hearing we did not speak French, she asked us (almost immediately after finding out where we were from) if we had heard about her shop from “David, the blog!” … OUI! we told her… she then pulled out a picture of herself and David (you) to show us… then she led us around her shop explaining in French which items were not to be missed and which ones were deliciousness beyond belief – which turned out to be almost everything :-)

    She also had a prospective vendor visiting the shop having her sample his wares, and she insisted we sample some as well… and i never say no to a caramel! Her enthusiasm is so infectious – the shop is pure heaven! – As evidenced by the weighty bag of goods we left with. Awesome place indeed!

    • Sharlene

    hi David,

    Unfortunately we made a trip to the candy store and it was closed. deciding whether to get tickets for the Salon du Chocolat 2010 – the last day of the venue, OR return to the store for caramels and less shoving. although I find it a toss up! Any suggestions?

    I love your blog on Rue Montorguiel…we are staying in the area for another 3 days, and hope to try your recommendations!

    I love your city! Can’t seem to get into a macaron class..wish Promenades Gourmandes was available, or that I could read French to find out more about Lenotre classes.


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