Monday 30 January 2012

timeless vintage brands #7 Haribo

After having showed the amazing world of handcrafted candies, here I'd like stay on the line to this sugary world... Indeed I'm glad to dedicate this 7th issue of timeless vintage logos to HARIBO, maybe the standing confectionery producer over the world. Gummy bears, cola twist, liquorice wheels, starmix etc... this hall of fame of candies belongs to Haribo! I'm sure that everyone of you was, at least for a short time in her or his life, a sound addicted of one of these gummy delicious sweeties!

This brand was born almost a century ago: HAns RIegel of BOnn, HA-RI-BO, created its firm of candies in Germany in 1920. As soon as in 1922 the first "tanzbär" (litterally "dancing bear") was created: it was the ancestor of the actual "Gold-Bear", a cult candy for children and grown-up ones! In a certain way, these candies were one of first attempts of popular mass candies: in a period of economic and social crisis, such as the post WWI Germany, these funny bears represented an inexpensive drop of happiness!

Yet the most funny aspect that I experienced is the Haribo is the most French of German firms. My apologized for the game with words, but the rivalry between French and German people is notorious; in spite of that, Haribo is the leading producers of bonbons in France! Since 1967, when Haribo took over some French producers, it started also a production of a "vedette" candy, that was shortly assimilated as a French flagship: the Fraise Tagada, a guimauve with the flavor of strawberry coated with red sugar. Tagadas are as ingrained in French culture to such extend that it was calculated that one of them is eaten every second here! I guess that Tagadas are sold in other countries under the name of Primavera (Italy and Germany for instance) or Strawbs (UK and US). If you find them in your country, try them!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Welcome 2012! The year of the Dragon!!

Since 23rd January, Paris is in turmoil for the beginning of festivities linked to the new Chinese year! Yes because here in Paris there is a big Chinese community, who lives in three "Chinatowns": one around the 13 arrondissement in the south part of the town, one in the norther part of the Marais district, and another one in the core of Belleville. Each of these communities organize each years a series of parties, of expositions, and of cultural activities in order to celebrate the arrival of the new year. And most important, they perform also the traditional "Dragon parade", a real Chinese show that "floods" the Parisian streets. You can find the full program of these festivities here.

2012 is for the chinese culture the year of the Dragon: this mythological animal is for Chinese people the symbol of power, harmony, health, and, most important, of luck. Indeed, Dragon years are considered the luckiest in the Chinese lunar zodiac... and as fas as Dragon is such as a good omen, I have produced a hand carved rubber stamp with the shapes of a little cute Dragon to celebrate this year, which I hope it would really lucky!

Since the beginning of year is usually a time during which to believe in good omens, I have also carved a stamp set representing a Daruma (or Dharma) Doll. This is a Japanese doll that is traditionally believed a talisman of good luck. This doll is made without eyes; when you express a wish, you have to color only one eye: the doll will help you to realize it for having its missing eyes. Indeed, if the wish will realize, you have to thank the doll making the other one. Otherwise, these dolls can represent also a symbol of perseverance: drawing a eye when you settle a goal will help you to stay concentrate on this goal until when it will be fulfilled - and you will draw the other eye to show your achievement. I hope that you like both the Dragon and the Daruma Doll, you can find them on my etsy.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Treasures of Paris #7. Le Bonbon au Palais

"La vie est bien plus belle avec des bonbons..." (life is even more beautiful with some candies); this is the message that welcomes people when crossing the threshold of Le Bonbon au Palais, a unique candy shop that I'm glad to feature here for my series of posts about places to be definitively visited in Paris. This shop is really a sweet pearl for its cuteness! Not only for the unbelievable varieties of delicious candies that you can find only there: this shop is really amazing for its ambience, with furnishings able to recall a vintage classroom with black dashboard, wooden desk and faded maps on walls... to spend some time in this shop is like a colorful journey back to a dreamy period of our childhood!

The person who made possible this project is George, a brilliant guy who succeeded in realizing his own biggest dream since his childhood: to open the most beautiful candy shop of the world, proposing the best selection of sweets that you can find! And, looking at what he was able to put together, I can affirm with ease that he achieved his goal: in this shop you can find bonbons from all corners of France, a selection of more than 200 varieties of regional candies hand made by the best French "confiseurs"...

... each of them has its own story and its own particular taste: it is a pleasure to listen George accounting while describing their flavors with the typical enthusiasm of who has a real passion for his own job. Indeed he has chosen each of the candies present in the shop, serving as a real hunter of sugary treasuries. Amongst the huge varieties of sweeties, here you can also find the real "guimauve". For profanes this could be described as a kind of marshmallow; yet its soft taste evokes a dreamy sensation of flowers and meringues.

You can find Le Bonbon au Palais in Paris, 19 rue Monge, 75005, Mon, 14h-19h, and from Tue to Sat, 10h30-13h and 14h-19h. Tel: 0033 (0), Website:, email

Sunday 15 January 2012

The month of sweetness

January is for me the month of sweetness. Xmas holidays are just gone, and my house is still stuffed with candies and sweeties of all kinds... I'm aware that it will be needed a certain time for buffering all them; for that, during this month my blog will host and show creations inspired directly to the wonderful world of cakes and candies. After having presented you the galette des rois, this is the time of this candy necklace above, I hope you like it, it would be found on my etsy...

Yet, as you maybe have the sorrow to try it, sweeties are sworn enemies of little teeth (and maybe best friend of dentists...). For never forgetting this cons of candies, I've also produced a safety pin with a tooth along with paste and brush (pic here above) and a tooth hand carved rubber stamp (pic here below). You can find both on my etsy shop as well... I hope you will enjoy them!!

Saturday 14 January 2012

And the winner is....

The lucky winner of my galette des rois plush, which I've announced here, is les Saint Palais en Grèce!! Indeed randomizer has chosen the author of the comment n.15. I please the winner to take contact with me writing me a message via email...

Friday 6 January 2012

Special giveaway: win la galette des rois!

Each country has its own tradition in matter of food, especially during holidays. Here in France, for instance, the 6th january - the day of Epiphany, even if it is not a public holiday day, there is the tradition to eat the "galette des rois"! This cake is not only delicious: also a special and funny ritual belongs to it. The cake indeed hides inside a little figurine in porcelain: who find this "fève" in her or his slice will be the Queen or the King for the day! And, in order to celebrate this cute cake, I'm glad here of launching a special giveaway for my "galette des rois" in felt, with an authentic "fève" inside (here in the pics). Would you like to win it? Follow the instruction of this special giveaway below...

In order to participate to the selection for winning my special "galette des rois" in felt, you have to write a comment to this post before the 14th Januay 2012 with the name of a traditional food of your country or of your region along with the occasion or recurrence in which it is eaten. If you'd like to add other details, they are very welcome. To each comment I will assign a ascending number (1,2,3, and so forth) and randomizer will find out the lucky winner! Let's try your chance!!

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Your daily drop of sweetness

As usual, when a new year begins, people wonder how did the last year turn out and very often write more or less exhaustive lists of resolutions for the new one. And I am ready to bet that many of you, still stricken by guilt-feelings about having eaten too much during xmas meals, placed at the beginnings of these lists sentences such as "eat less", "go on a diet", "enroll at the gym" and so forth. I can also foresee that in many cases our beloved candies have been found guilty of ever-normal augmentations of weight and that special resolutions could claim "definitively stop candies", "never eat candies again", and even more drastically "start your personal war to candies".

Personally, I never trust in new year's resolutions list (even though I write it every years!). I feel that life is more than a firm balance sheet, in which one year losses have to compensated in the hope of future earnings. Even to consider the life divided in years is too much conventional after me. Life should be lived day after day, following our tastes and our wills, and each morning we should feel the whole opportunity to start a new day, to achieve our projects, and to follow our dreams. But I can understand a diet could be really welcome after binges of last days. For that, instead of writing "kill all candies without eating!" in my list, this year I can use this stamp "candy machine" for my daily drop of sweetness. I am sure that this will be at zero cals! You can find it on my etsy

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