A l'Etoile d'Or

A street going south from Moulin Rouge may seem like an ordinary Parisian street with an inevitable feel of an 18th arrondisment. Yet it is no ordinary street because there, on the number 30 is a special shop. When you step inside you feel like entering a candy museum. And the feeling is not deceiving because A l'étoile d'or is a shrine to chocolate and all sorts of other old French confectionery. An exceptional woman behind the counter is no ordinary person as well. A woman-girl in a school uniform with two long blond braids falling down her shoulders, She fits perfectly in her Alice in Wonderland store.

And you will find there, as she explaines it, the best of French confectionery. Perfect small boxes of bonbon réglisse, sucre d'orge, prasline Mazet, Forestines and other old fashioned candy. Chocolate and caramels and chocolate spreads are througout the store, on every shelf, between books and excerpts from the newspapers She had been featured in. She will make a tour of the store with you, showing proudly every box or table of chocolate. She will talk about japanese and americans being obsessed with her, showing you pictures of herself and the store from different newspapers and magazines of the world. She will offer you to wrap your chocolate or a box of candies in a piece of an original papier d'Epinal (French paper with printed colourful images often containing an image puzzle). Yet She is not vain, but proud with a reason.

She keeps the best caramels in France the world: popular CBS or caramel au beurre salé (salted butter caramels). They are sincerely the best caramel i have tried so far and i normally really don't like caramel. The famous CBS are made by Henri Le Roux, a master caramel and chocolate maker from Brittany.

She is the only one in Paris to keep Bernachon chocolates and this She mentions with great pride. Bernachon is one of the rare chocolate-makers in the world (they do not only make chocolates but produce their own chocolate from cacao beans). She said to us "You want Bernachon, you go to Lyon or you come to me". Well we came to her, took a tour of the store, took pictures, bought caramels, bought chocolates and chocolate spread. We took a picture with Madame Denise Acabo and promised to come back soon.