Categories: Family Travel, Museums in Paris, Paris
Discussed in this Episode
- Paris with children
THIS IS A PARTIALLY EDITED AUTOMATIC TRANSCRIPT
Annie Sargent 0:32
Thank you Herbert Osley, Omar Rodriguez and Michelle Olander for your donations. You made my day. Thank you!
Annie Sargent 0:40
This is Join Us in France Episode 70. Oh, my, how time flies! Hello, I’m Annie. And on the show today I will talk to you about chocolate and especially the chocolate Museum in Paris. Now, there are many things that I love to talk about and chocolate is definitely definitely one of them, knowing that you will not be too surprised to hear that when I when I was in Paris last time, which was late April, early May, I decided to visit the chocolate Museum in Paris.
Annie Sargent 1:15
And, of course, it helps also that I went on May 1, May 1 is a holiday in France, and that there were a lot of museums that were closed for the day and it was also a rainy day. So I, you know, the chocolate museum being opened, I was like, okay, we’re going right away, and it really does not disappoint.
Annie Sargent 1:35
We talked about chocolate in two previous episodes that I did with Elyse, Episode 47, which was about Bayonne in the Basque Country, and also Episode 36, which was titled, chocolate and macaroons. So we’ve already talked about it, but this museum in Paris is really worth a visit. And I’m going to tell you why.
Annie Sargent 1:57
As always my intent with this episode is to do some travel reporting. I went and now I’m telling you how it went. I don’t want to spoil it for you. But when you’re done with this episode, you’ll know if this is the kind of place you want to spend your time on or not.
Annie Sargent 2:13
But first, I want to thank listeners who responded to my 20 survey questions last week. I cannot name them all. There were too many. But I sent you a thank you email in return so you know who you are. Thank you. I would dearly love to get more answers. So I’m putting a link to the survey in this episode. You can get to the questions right from your show notes on your phone. I’ll also put a link on the website This episode is Join Us in france.com, forward slash 70. Thank you, please fill it out and send it back as soon as you can. It’ll help me tremendously.
Annie Sargent 2:51
Also, I want to update you on the progress I’m making on my very first travel ebook, one of the survey questions asks, would a travel guide be a good addition to the podcast? And the vast majority of you said yes. And that was encouraging. A few people said, maybe it depends on what’s in the book. And that’s 100% fair. Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings. Say it, as you see it. It’s going really well. But I underestimated how much work it takes to write a book and self publish it. The book is mostly written now. It needs to be edited. I need to cover a title of my The title is so hard to decide on. And I want it to be done professionally. So I’m hiring a professional editor, etc. There’s a lot to this that I didn’t realize was going to be into this. It’ll take the time it takes, it’s not as fast as I’d hoped, but it’s going to be something that I will be proud of, and I’m excited to work on it.
Annie Sargent 3:53
And to write my book, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the competition in quotes. Even though it’s hardly fair to call it competition because some of these brand names are so huge, and I’m just starting from scratch, so I’m hardly any competition at all. But, looking around has comforted me in the idea that there needs to be something different on the market.
Annie Sargent 4:17
Most travel guides try to be all things to all people. They are hundreds of pages long, tiny print, it’s hard to find the information you need right now in the middle of that all that stuff. My guides will not be that I want to write something succinct to the point and complete all at once. And that is why I will not write about places I have not visited personally. And if I didn’t experience it myself to the fullest, I will not try to write about it.
Annie Sargent 4:50
I want to go in depth about one place, one attraction, one thing at a time and one day at a time. My intention is for my readers, you, hopefully, to live this one day that you have at this place to the fullest. Be in the moment, I would dearly like to see visitors that are comfortable in the place they are visiting today. That’s probably because that’s the way French people visit a place, no rush, no running around, you learn something about what you’re looking at, and you enjoy it to the fullest.
Annie Sargent 5:27
In any trip, there’s going to be a certain amount of running around but it doesn’t have to be all you do. And I want my travel guides to nudge you in the direction of enjoying your day at that particular place. And not just check off a bunch of must see places, one short eguide about one place. I will also make suggestions as to what else you can see nearby, but it’s not a competition as to who sees the most and the fastest.
Annie Sargent 5:55
There isn’t anything like that on the E book market for most of the places I want to write about, for instance, on the Pont du Gard there is one long form historical book that goes into such minutiae that I mean it would be too much for a regular person to visit. So, I want to find a happy medium that’s going to provide everything you need so you can enjoy the place and be in the moment. All right, enough said about that.
Annie Sargent 6:22
Now, let’s get to enjoying the chocolate. The Musée Gourmand du Chocolat which would translate into the Gourmet Museum of Chocolate is in the 10th arrondissement in Paris, on boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, that means good news. See! Good news! There’s a chocolate museum on that Boulevard! And it’s very close to the metro stop also called Bonne Nouvelle on line eight. It’s on the north east side of Paris. It’s easy to find, easy to get to.
Annie Sargent 6:55
But it is not an area where you’ll find lots and lots tourists because there aren’t any huge famous sites to visit right there. I mean, there’s some things you see, you know, talk to me about those in a second. But it’s not like huge that you can’t miss kind of thing.
Annie Sargent 7:09
So if you want to see more of Paris life and less of tourists life, I would say the 10th is a very, very good place to go. And if you want to make a day of it and just go visit the 10th on a specific day, you could also go see go see the very romantic Canal Saint Martin some after the canal. The Canal Saint Martin is a pretty small canal. It’s not quite five kilometres long. It’s in the 10th and the 11th. And it will, it’s between Bassin de la Villette, and Port de l’Arsenal. So, and the Port de l’Arsenal is an actual port, where people keep small boats. I mean, it’s kind of cool too it was, you know, it was a merchant kind of Port before but now, it’s just for fun.
Annie Sargent 7:59
There’s a whole network of canals are in and around Paris, altogether 130 kilometers long, and most of them take water to or from the Seine River. The Canal Saint Martin is kind of cool looking. It’s quite narrow. It’s not a big thing, but it does have two locks and some bridges that go over. And it’s really turned into a pretty romantic place. So if you’d like to take a nice walk along there, that would be another thing to do. On the day you go visit the chocolate museum.
Annie Sargent 8:33
The other thing that you could do while in the 10th is go visit the one of the passages we I think we mentioned it in the episode we did on that that was Episode 29. It’s called Passage Brady, and it’s one that’s very unusual because it’s got a lot of Indian kind of food and cooking and this whole area has a lot of immigrants, but it’s, it’s very safe and you’ll find a lot of you know, ethnic things which I kinda like so if you like that kind of thing, it’s another very good place. There’s also a market called marché Saint Quentin. I think it’s every day that one and it might be all day so if you happen to be around you can see it just about any time.
Annie Sargent 9:26
But but I digress, I need to get back to the chocolate. So when you arrive at the chocolate Museum, you’re greeted with this nice big yellow sign that says Choco story. This is something French people do a lot. We like to use English words and not always appropriately. Although I might I might add that Americans also do this they use French in ways that are no we didn’t. That usage is not how we do it. But anyway, Choco story is what you see on the on the front, and what I really enjoyed at this place is that right at the place of the entrance where you buy your tickets, and I think it was eight or nine euros or something per person wasn’t super expensive, but it wasn’t super cheap either. Well worth it though, in my opinion.
Annie Sargent 10:12
Where you go in, they will give you a sample of the chocolate that they produce in right there at the at the chocolate museum. It’s it’s very good, they make good stuff and you get to eat more of it at the end of the visit. It’s just really pretty nicely done. This museum has displays that are very well done. And very everything is very well explained which I cannot say about most museums in France. This one does it really well. You have explanations in French and in English. The English is well written easy to understand. It’s really very good.
Annie Sargent 10:37
And so they start the visit with the origin of chocolate and they have lots of things that show you the different types of beings You know, there’s the Criollo bean the four forastero bean, which this is a less normal variety, but robust. So, you know, you gotta choose Are you going to be strong Are you going to be dainty? Then you have Trinitarrio kind of chocolate. Anyway, all of that is well explained and will display. The way they do their displays is, is really cool. I put some pictures on Join Us in france.com forward slash 70 so you can see it for yourself.
Annie Sargent 10:58
They also explained about the cocoa tree and this is one thing that I didn’t realize, but apparently, cocoa trees can be eight or 10 meters tall and that’s mighty tall for a tree that’s a four storey house maybe. So it’s a very tall tree and they often limit their growth. I suspect they cut their tops off to keep them to three or four meters, which is a lot easier to handle.
Annie Sargent 12:10
And the other thing that I thought was very cute is that they talked about how the monkeys and other climbing animals, they love the pulp from the pods, but they don’t eat the beans themselves because the beans are bitter. And if you’ve ever tried straight cocoa beans, it’s not very pleasant by itself. I’m not sure how they figured out that it could be turned into something so delicious. But they did. And so when the animals pick up the pods, eat just the outside you know, and and so the pulp around the pods and then they drop the rest. They help disseminate it and it’s, it’s, you know, it works. It’s great.
Annie Sargent 12:49
They show you the different types of pottery and gods that were made in Middle America having to do with With all the beans, and they talk about how cocoa beans were used as currency, they have a whole collection of some really beautiful pottery, small objects, some bigger but there are some really small beautiful, intricate vases and they show all the utensils and all the things that were used in making cocoa or what was cocoa at the time, which is not at all like we drink cocoa today. The I really think visually it’s so it’s a great museum.
Annie Sargent 13:01
And the other thing that’s also very nice about it is that at kid eye level, they have little boxes, where they would they will put into the scene for the kids to look at. And these are usually made of Playmobil characters that they so they have these play mobiles that can reproduce the same stuff that they’re trying to explain for the for the grown ups a little higher so it’s really Well thought out, it’s a museum that’s for the entire family, you you know anybody in your family can enjoy this place, I think.
Annie Sargent 14:08
They show a lot of objects that were used to make local chocolate mixtures. Apparently there was a drink called pozole. That was in the Tabasco region of Mexico. So pozole was a kind of drink and another one was called Pascallatte. And this tradition is very old. And apparently they still make those drinks there today that I’ve never visited those areas. So I don’t know. But it sounds really fun that you can still do I mean, things that were made 4000 years ago, you know, it’s like, Wow, it boggles the mind and they still make it amazing.
Annie Sargent 14:43
And then there’s a big beautiful explanation of mole. Now. Mole is something I really enjoy these days. But I remember the first time I tried it, I saw Mole is a is a Mexican food that’s made it’s based on a chocolate But many other things go into it as well. The all the traditional ingredients are chocolate chilies, three types of chilies. uncho no four types and tomahto Chipotle, a picea. Then they also put tomatoes, almonds, walnuts, sultanas, sesame seeds, cloves, cinnamon, parsley, pepper, onions and garlic. I mean, there’s a lot of ingredients that go into mole, and they’re mixed together and then you eat it with toasted tortilla. I love this stuff today. But I must admit, the first time I had it, it was a little bit startling, but it was very fun to see the types of instruments and the type of folklore that was all around mole.
Annie Sargent 15:44
So they really go deep into this chocolate business. You know, it’s not just all Here, have some chocolate and watch our chef make some chocolate and actually I recorded a little bit of his presentation because he made his presentation in both French and it was very fun to listen to. Anyway, so stick around till the end of the show, you’ll get to hear some of that. But it’s really good how they go in depth into a lot of things having to do chocolate so it’s a lot of stuff around chocolate.
Annie Sargent 16:17
Then they move on to the Spanish recipes with chocolate. It became a sweetened drink about 1500 ad so that’s 500 years ago, it’s not very long ago, and they put a recipe in the museum they say you needed 700 cocoa beans, one and a half pounds of sugar, two ounces of cinnamon, 14 black pepper grains, half an ounce of cloves, three vanilla pods or aniseed and a spoonful of assurity almonds, hazelnuts and orange blossom water and that will make you A very nice, very old Spanish chocolate recipe. And as you may know, Spain still has a lot of different kinds of chocolate drinks. And the one in where I visit a lot which is Catalonia, they have this really thick chocolate. Actually I find it too too sick. I’m not used to it. But I mean small doses, you know, you buy one and you share it with a few people and it’s it’s lovely, but it’s just really heavy. It’s it’s not something that goes down easy.
Annie Sargent 17:36
So then you get to, to display about the cocoa drinks and religion. And I thought that was very, very cute that the well-off noble women of Spain, were very, very much into drinking chocolate. And they were so much into it that they would ask their servants to bring them chocolate drink during mass. Maybe mass was a lot longer than it is today. I don’t know. But anyway, the Bishop of San Cristobal was really offended by this. And so he forbade that for chocolate to be drunk during mass. People hated him as a result and he was poisoned. Yes.
Annie Sargent 18:19
The other issue that came up was, was it okay to consume cocoa during Lent or not? And this museum has acquired a book that dates back to 1642, in which it is explained that chocolate drink just like wine does not break the Lent fast, because it’s not consumed as food. So there you have it, you can have cocoa and wine during Lent.
Annie Sargent 18:47
So originally, in Spain, chocolate was sold as a medicinal thing. It was sold in pharmacies, so depending on what they mixed it Twist if they mixed cocoa with pepper, that was for liver problems and if they mixed it with gray amber was good for the heart and a Chota which is a little red berry thing that was beneficial for breathing and we still use cocoa butter today for ointments. And as a matter of fact, at the end of the chocolate Museum, that’s one of the ways you can buy your chocolate. This is the ointment from the cocoa butter and very makes very good hand cream. I think it has a little bit of a strange scent, but you can test it there and you’ll try it and see if you like it.
Annie Sargent 19:38
The Spaniards in Mexico, were using cocoa in all sorts of way. But it’s not until 1580 that the first chocolate shop opened in Spain. And after that it took off like wildfire and it required regular delivery of cocoa beans to the to the old continent. Because they just really, really liked it. And at this museum, they tell you that it’s the nuns at Oaxaca, oh, a x ACA who first added sugar to the cocoa drink. Bless you, Nuns, that was a good move!
Annie Sargent 20:17
And at the Museum The you’ll also see sugar loaves and the old instruments they used to break up the sugar and way the sugar and and I mean, they really have a ton of little instruments and things that are really interesting, if you like history of cooking and food and that sort of thing. And they have a pretty big display, and a lot of explanations about sugar, and how they explain that in the old days, sugar was extracted only from sugar cane, and much later in the beginning of the 1800s. sugar beets also came into use in in Europe, but the sugar cane was pressed and juiced was thickened into really sweetened viscous liquid, which was then poured into the conical molds. So after crystallization cone of sugar, so Sugar Loaf was was obtained. And this is how sugar was sold at the time. And in certain places. Apparently in Morocco in certain places, that’s still how you sell it or you buy and sell sugar, you break off a piece and then people break it up into smaller chunks as they as they need.
Annie Sargent 21:30
One of the parts that was particularly interesting to me is when they tell the story of chocolate in France, because chocolate was first made in Spain, but the Spanish government did not want it exported and so chocolate was unheard of, in France, for instance, until much later, but on May 28 1659, Louis XIV granted David Chaillou the exclusive right for a period of 29 years to produce and sell in the whole country, a mixture known as chocolate, either in the form or lick of liquid, or in drops or in any other form that he might choose and to import from foreign countries the necessary ingredients to make this so called chocolate end quote.
Annie Sargent 22:22
So, the chocolate business started growing in the 1780s and onwards, when the colonies in the Caribbean became official cocoa bean suppliers and then in 1800, a man called Sulpice Debeauve opened his shop in Paris, initially it was on Saint Dominique road and then later Saint Peres road and this is where the chocolate was kind of starting to change from a therapeutic role to that of a sweet of a treat. And Debeauve was a qualified pharmacist and under Louie the 18th and Charles the 10th. And Louis Philippe also. So, in 1823 he started a business with his nephew, Galley, who was also pharmacist. So, at the time, pharmacy and chocolate went together. And slowly, it became kind of obvious that there was more demand for chocolate as a treat than there was a treatment.
Annie Sargent 23:32
In 1847 Victor Auguste Poulain, ah Poulain, I love chocolat Poulain! Wo I can see how where this is going, set himself up as a confectionery maker in Blois the suburb of Paris, Blois BLOIS and in 1862 he opened the factory at Lavillette that he equipped in 1872 with steam. Wow, steam factory so this was like really, you know, up and coming I mean this was like new development and he created the company Chocolat Poulain and I must admit that is the one that is dear to my heart because when I was growing up in France, as you know French children are kind of raised with some rather strict rules about when you eat and when you don’t.
Annie Sargent 24:25
And you definitely are not raised to think that it’s okay to open the fridge and get something and eat. That’s not the French way. So when I was little, when we came home from school, mom or grandma because my grandma lived with us for most of my childhood would take a piece of baguette, put some butter on it and then sprinkle some chocolat Poulain on top, the powdered chocolate. So the powder itself was not super I like Polain because it was not bitter.
Annie Sargent 24:57
Van Hooten chocolate was also a big one at the time, but that was a bitter chocolate. Poland was just right. Banania was also a chocolate that people liked growing up, but I didn’t like it as much because it was sweeter it was a little bit too sweet. So imagine that baguette, butter and chocolate powder on top, and you just love the stuff. So this is this is how I was raised. And that’s why I love chocolate Poulain.
Annie Sargent 25:24
Now, in 1825, somebody calledJan Antoine Brutus Menier, and of course we have the Menier chocolate family in France. He made pharmaceutical powders. He also started up a chocolate business in Noiseille. So another big family that went from pharmacy to chocolate, who knew?
Annie Sargent 25:47
So then the museum takes you through the history of chocolate in Bayonne, and we talked about it in Episode 49. But I’ll tell you a couple of things that were striking to me looking at the display In the Paris Museum. They reminded me about the Portuguese Jews who fled Portugal to find refuge in France and notably in Bayonne in the suburb called Saint Esprit. And some of them may chocolate and we’re responsible for its introduction at the beginning of the 17th century in Bayonne. And for a long time, only the Portuguese were experts in this new craft, and they were not allowed to work in retail trade.
Annie Sargent 25:48
Really, people had a lot of very narrow ideas of what you were allowed to do and not do based upon your origin and you and your family situation. You know, we didn’t have a caste system in France, but it’s kind of that idea, that kind of separation that is not there anymore, but it was it was a big deal back then. The French Revolution gave the Portuguese of Saint Esprit the right to carry out their business in Bayonne as equals to Other citizens, and the art of making chocolate continued to develop in Bayonne, due mostly to the improvement of the equipment because it helps and then they introduced because
Annie Sargent 27:10
Chocolate is really a labor intensive job it takes a lot of muscles to do all the steps that are needed and so as as they introduced more equipment and automation, it made things easier. And from Bayonne chocolate then spreads all over Europe slowly but according to the legend, Madame de Pompadour was passionate about truffle and celery soup, which she washed down with cups of chocolate, which had to arouse both mind and passions. There you have it. truffles. Very nice. Celery soup. Not so sure, which she could. She was down with cups Oh, Chocolate, you know, amazing!
Annie Sargent 28:04
At the chocolate museum you will see a lot of utensils that were used to drink and make chocolate drinks by the Royals in France and these have nothing to do with the kind of more earthy kind of things that you see at the beginning to no development of chocolate in Mexico. These are very refined and Marie Antoinette ordered the making of tableware collections for chocolate and you will see several sets they have acted they actually have a very large display of sets of chocolate drinking cups and spoons special spoons and all sorts of special things. It’s it’s actually quite kind of pretty if you like that that sort of beautiful old silverware. I guess another name for it is porcelain isn’t it? Yeah, it’s porcelain. Yeah, failence. In French, we say interchangeably you could, you could say both.
Annie Sargent 29:05
And I took some photos of the little I told you that at eye level for the kids, they have Playmobil scenes I you have to go to the website to see this one. Join Us in france.com forward slash 70. It shows a man and a woman in a kitchen and the kitchen is beautifully decorated and it’s got all sorts of things. And it’s really great that they put that at eye level for the kids because maybe the grown ups won’t even notice that it’s there. Because it’s you know, around our middle section, but it’s it’s really very well done. I really enjoyed that.
Annie Sargent 29:41
And the pots that are specifically designed for chocolate drink are called chocolatiere I think even in English, and you can tell them apart from coffee pots because they have a hole in the center of the lid. So you can use a foamer in there and stirr it up. It’s kind of cool looking and they have all sorts of different ones. They have copper ones iron, one ceramic, porcelain, pewter, even. I mean, they have a lot of different versions that you can see. And I thought that was very well done.
Annie Sargent 30:17
Now of course, if you think of it in terms of how much of what people drank, tea was still the big winner. People drank more tea than they did chocolate at any times. But big names like chocolate Voltaire, he liked chocolate, he created his own recipe, which was a mixture of equal parts of chocolate and coffee, and I actually like that very much myself. I like to put coffee, chocolate and coffee, and he said that it was to stimulate his brain or whatever it is it taste good and when you cold it’s a wonderful drink.
Annie Sargent 30:50
Aristocrats drank chocolate when they woke up which so they would have their servants bring it to them in bed. Oh nice. I would like to have that done. Every now and then, and they usually preferred sweetened chocolate to the bitter coffee or you know bitter coffee was for the proletariat to sweeten chocolate for was for the well heeled people. And Diderot and d’Alembert you know the Encyclopedia writers included a recipe for chocolate in their Encyclopedia. It was four spoons four soup spoons so that being like big T of chocolate to soup spoons of sugar, three pinches of cinnamon and one egg. But it was still pretty expensive at the end of the 18th century, so 1700s late 1700s a pound of chocolate so 500 grams was about the equivalent of five days wages so that’s seriously expensive. I don’t know if many of us will be making chocolate breakfast at those kinds of prices, but who knows?
Annie Sargent 31:57
In the 19th century finally chocolate became a little bit more for everybody. Napoleon the third declared that cocoa is not a luxury product, it’s hygienic and nutritional properties are indisputable. And as its taste and aroma, please both the nose and the palate. It is a mass consumption product and I am therefore removing the tax. So that’s when it started being a little bit more affordable and they also started using steam powered engines to crush the beans and increase the production. So that made it a lot more affordable and had it move from the royalty and the rich people to more of everybody.
Annie Sargent 32:45
That was 17th century in 1912. Jean Neuehouse who had inherited a business that had to do with pharmaceutical sweet shop in Brussels. He launched a new idea It was first a hazelnut coated with chocolate and then a little, tiny little filled chocolate cup, and he called it a praline. And he wrapped these delicate chocolates into strong cardboard boxes designed in 1915 with his wife Louise Agostini and the ballotin was born. It was a real revolution in chocolate packaging, because until then they were just trying… You know, they’re just putting little bags and but putting in beautiful box that was it was a cardboard box so it was a lot more affordable than the glass painted boxes that were done before.
Annie Sargent 33:40
Today praline is it’s a tiny bit of almond that sweetened around it’s coated with sugar, and it’s baked on and you can just if you make cookies with railings, all that fantastic, I love it. It’s my one of my patient personal favorites!
Annie Sargent 33:57
And now we get to the story of Leonidas. An American man he was he was from Greek origin, but he lived in the United States in 1912. He won a bronze medal in Brussels for his chocolates, but he fell in love with a Belgian lady and decided to stay in Belgium to open a tea room and that is how the Leonidas company came into being the Leonidas desk company. Their whole thing is that they opened a shop on a big Boulevard that had a counter overlooking the street. And so the sale of chocolate was done on the street front and that’s how it became really popular.
Annie Sargent 34:39
Then in 1935, they invented the most famous Belgian chocolate even to this day and you’ve probably had one it’s called the Manon. So it’s a rather large and heavy kind of chocolate. It’s white on the outside and it has a little nut poking out the top. It’s covered with white but it’s a hazelnut. And so what it is is it’s a creamy filling with a chocolate on top and then they cover it with white chocolate and they make it now with different types of coverings but the original was the white chocolate and it is just oh to die for.
Annie Sargent 35:18
And then another thing that also became more prevalent but it started in the 1700s but it’s the idea that people used to keep a little sweet box, bonbonnière, bonbon, candy. But so these were beautiful boxes usually by little I mean they contain maybe a pint worth of something. And they they’re usually filled with sweets of it all sorts of varieties of sweets but this is you know, it was kind of a sign that you now we’re part of the well to do that you could have a box of sweets that you could when people came over for coffee or something you would offer them a sweet.
Annie Sargent 36:02
And so it became a status symbol but not just royalty but but for more modest up and coming classes. And that’s why I took over and it became very, very popular. And they have a large selection of Bumble Yeah, that you can see there. My own mother kept had several that she had collected from, from other members of the family, older members of the family and I think they’re kind of nice, but you have too many of them. I don’t know what to do with them. But it was a big deal. It was just a sign of you know, we’ve arrived and we now have sweets as part of our daily life.
Annie Sargent 36:41
And then there’s a nice section of the chocolate of the chocolate museum where they tell you about how you work with chocolate: he temperatures that you need to keep, how you do the praline, or you do the garnishing the enrobing, the marking the little figurines and all of that stuff. And that’s also very, very interesting.
Annie Sargent 37:01
And then you get to the area where they show you the advertising for for the chocolate and there are some gorgeous gorgeous advertising. Banania has beautiful advertising. And then and then you get to the wonderful chocolate demonstration. Now this is a part of the thing that I really liked we there were a lot of us on that day with probably 70 people and they have this Master chocolatier who does this all day I it was it’s probably a little boring for him because you know if if that’s what you do all day talk to tourists. His English was very good. But the way he was doing his presentation It was like like, what you hear it I’m going to play a little bit of it. So you hear his kind of tone was like it was like a show for him.
Annie Sargent 37:52
But he makes all these chocolates right in front of you the presentation that lasts maybe 15 minutes, but what he does is he shows you all the steps explains them in both languages. And then he put stuff in the fridge because you need normally you need rest time and cooling time and all of these things but of course, he’s got things ready for all to show you all the different steps. And at the end he puts out a lot of chocolate. I mean there was it was quite a lot of chocolate for everybody to try. And you could you get to try some of the chocolates that are made with a fancy cocoa beans and the not so fancy cocoa beans and you get to try them side by side to see if you can tell the difference right there.
Annie Sargent 38:34
You get to try the beautiful little figurines that he makes right in front of you. It’s it’s just a really nice and really informative presentation that I greatly enjoyed. And then you exit through the shop. Of course they have a museum shop, and I thought that was very well done. And the nice little touch is that when you go to the bathroom, which I did at the end You will find a men’s bathroom in a women’s bathroom. And alongside the way in the women’s bathroom, they have a little people bathroom. So they have this. Just like they had a little presentation at eye level for the kids. Well, they have a much smaller little toilet and short little wash basin for your kids to wash their hands. And I thought that was just perfect.
Annie Sargent 39:27
A place where you talk about chocolate. That was just the you know, the icing on the cake. It was awesome. So I heartily recommend that you visit this place. Probably if you only are going to be in Paris for a few days and you don’t have the time. Yeah, I can see why you’d want to go to other attractions first, but as far as chocolate museums are concerned, this one is very well put together very well organized. It is just a pleasure and a very good experience for everybody.
Annie Sargent 40:02
So there you have it. Le chocolat, le musee du chocolat de Paris. So well done choco story, I really enjoyed it. And next time I’m in Paris with kids, I’ll definitely take them. I think it’s particularly good for kids, I don’t know 789 maybe. And if, if you don’t, you probably won’t have time to read all the displays because the kids will not be as patient as all that. But I think it’s a really fun thing to do. And now to conclude the show, let me have you. You can hear a little bit of the presentation that the the master chocolate maker was giving us, which I thought was wonderful and the smell is pretty good. I can’t show you the smell, but you’ll have to go and see for yourself. Well, thank you very much for sticking around till the end of this. And now for the lovely chocolatier, au revoir !
Unknown Speaker 40:55
show College of Law.
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mates are almost ready. Excuse
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me, would you happen to know what I lost
Unknown Speaker 41:09
in the fridge to
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are ready to be
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ready hold the tasting
Unknown Speaker 41:42
good with them as we can see our topics
Annie Sargent 42:20
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Join Us in France Travel Podcast. For more on this topic and many others, check out our Facebook page. I put a lot of information there that never makes it into the episodes. And I say this without sounding too French and too blunt. Okay, I’ll just say it on Facebook, you need to be social. If you don’t reply, and if you don’t comment, Facebook will assume that you’re not that into it and they will stop displaying stuff from the Join Us in France Travel Podcast, you, really you you’re not that much into preparing your trip to France. I really don’t believe that. You guys are Frank Just click like and savings and then all right. Happy vacation planning. Don’t be a stranger.
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Categories: Family Travel, Museums in Paris, Paris