Sunday, December 08, 2013

Papillotes Roasting On An Open Fire...

A Little White House Christmas - 3 -

Actually, you'd better not roast your papillotes on the fire or they'll melt! But they are as traditional in Southern France (where I don't live but where my mother is from) as chesnuts!

Mes lecteurs internationaux m'ont demandé quelques explications sur les papillotes vues dans un de mes articles. Chers connaisseurs, prenez votre mal en patience pendant cette petite histoire si vous l'avez déjà entendue. Je la raconte telle que je l'ai toujours entendue, je n'ai pas fait de longues recherches historiques, mais si vous avez des variantes ou des corrections à apporter, n'hésitez pas!

It seemed most people wanted a little explanation post about papillotes, so please grab a blanket, sit next to the fire, have a cup of tea and help yourself of a papillote while I tell a little story.

During the 18th century, in the French city of Lyons, a young man was working as an apprentice in a candy shop, that belonged to Mr. Papillot. He fell in love with a young lady who was working in the same building, on the next floor. Very shy, he decided to write sweet notes to her and to wrap them around some candy.

Au XVIIIe siècle, à Lyon, un jeune commis travaillait dans la confiserie de M. Papillot. Il tomba amoureux d'une jeune fille qui travaillait dans le même bâtiment, un étage au dessus. Très timide, il décida de lui déclarer sa flamme sur des mots doux qu'il entourait autour de friandises.

Unfortunately, Mr. Papillot found out that some candy was disappearing!

Il semblerait que M. Papillot se soit aperçu que des friandises disparaissaient!

From there, two different endings to the story exist:

a) if you're a hopeless romantic: the lady turned out to be Mr. Papillot's niece and she married the young apprentice and they began selling the wrapped candies in the shop.

b) if you're more business oriented: Mr. Papillot fired the apprentice, but thought the idea of wrapped candy was interesting and began selling them.

De là, il existe deux fins possibles, à vous de choisir selon votre personnalité:
a) Vous êtes romantique: la jeune fille se trouva être la nièce de M. Papillot et elle épousa le jeune commis. Ils commencèrent à vendre des friandises enveloppées de petits mots avec le succès que l'on sait.

b) Vous êtes plutôt "les affaires sont les affaires": le commis fut renvoyé, mais M. Papillot trouva l'idée de la friandise enveloppée intéressante et la commercialisa.

Today, papillotes are chocolates or fruit pastes that are wrapped in a paper where you can read a joke or a famous quote, then wrapped in a colourful paper that makes little "pompom" ending on each side of the candy.

My mom, who grew up in Southern France, insisted I had to tell you it wasn't always chocolate, so I HAD TO buy some fruit pastes ones and as the colours of the wrapping papers didn't match the ones I have on my mantel, they ended up piled in a jar on a little table in the dining-room!

Ma maman, qui a grandi dans le sud de la France, a insisté pour que je vous montre que les papillotes n'étaient pas toujours des chocolats, mais aussi des pâtes de fruit et j'ai donc racheté un paquet! Les couleurs des papiers sont superbes, mais différentes des papillotes de ma cheminée. J'ai empilées celles-là dans un bocal situé dans la salle-à-manger!

So, what ending did you choose? a or b?

Alors quelle fin avez-vous choisi? a ou b?

See you soon,

A bientôt,

PS: Now, you know what you're supposed to sing, right? With me (or with Judy): "Papillotes roasting on an open fire..."

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  1. I chose a for sure! Those candies look so good. I will be in Strasbourg in a couple weeks. Do you think they have these there?

  2. It has to be 'a' of course ! We always think of the French as very romantic, so Mr Papillot surely understood why his apprentice took the sweets.

  3. Definitely the romantic story.

    It makes me think of the book/movie Chocolat. I loved her shop and wanted to be able to step inside to see if she could guess my favorite.

  4. Coucou Magali, j'ai fait mes études à Lyon et la papillote est une très grande tradition là-bas. Aucune table sans cette friandise sacrée. Les deux maîtres es papillotes sont Voisin et Révillon (ils ont des sites de vente en ligne maintenant) et se faire offrir ces gourmandises de leurs marques est un délice! La papillote en pâtes de fruit est extrêmement courante là-bas. See you soon, Emmanuelle

  5. Love your post Magali! I agree with your mum It's important to know every detail about them. Really charming


  6. My heart says 'A', but my pragmatic Capricorn head says 'B'. Oh well, maybe the French romantic culture won out in the end and the young man married the girl and opened his own candy shop!

  7. Do we also get a free candy? Ha - I loved the romantic version best!

  8. Hopefully A would be the way it happened!! I loved the story and I would sure like to help myself to that jar on your table!!!

  9. Comment? Ils se marièrent et ils eurent bcp d'enfants....
    Bonne soirée.

  10. I'm going with A. Sweet ending about sweet candy. Thanks for the little history lesson! This is what I love about reading blogs from all over the world :)

  11. I'll take romance--A! I love the story of the candies, and I love the little messages inside. It reminded me a little bit of a fortune cookie. I also loved the version of The Christmas Song you used at the end of your post--that is from Judy Garland's Christmas show that aired on television here in the United States in the 1960s, and the whole show is great!

  12. Et il y a aussi des papillotes avec des sucres de couleur qu'on appelait des "fondants" ! Quand j'étais enfant, j'aimais bien ne pas savoir sur quoi on allait tomber...(pâte de fruit, sucre fondant, chocolat) jusqu'à ce que maman décide que les meilleures étaient celles en chocolat, alors elle n'a acheté que des papillotes en chocolat... du coup, il n'y avait plus de surprise.

  13. I love this story and I definitely prefer the hopeless romantic ending of the story...:) These look so tasty! Enjoy my friend! Do you have a Christmas break? Mine starts in two weeks and I am so ready, even though I just had a week off. This is such a busy time of the year....but fun too! Have a restful Sunday evening...Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  14. Replies
    1. The one on my mantel was a gift from friends a long time ago. Thanks fro visiting.

  15. Pour l'avoir entendu raconté,je dirais que la version b est la bonne, à moins que ce ne soit Mr Papillot lui-même qui ait été amoureux de la Belle.
    Je n'en suis pas fane car je n'aime pas manger des friandises sans les choisir.
    Bises. Babette

  16. Oh I am ultimately a romantic so I go with A too!!

  17. What an interesting story behind a tradition!! Love the A) ending more, yup I'm a hopeless romantic! Never tried these, maybe I should look around for some here in the U.S.!

  18. Of *course* I choose the happy romantic ending!!! And I love chocolate, but I don't love fruit paste. I'd give those to my husband! Hee hee. ~Angela~

  19. I am a romantic so I must choose the "a" ending. Love the idea of wrapping a message around the candy. I make candy for gifts and may have to use this idea. I think I would prefer the chocolate ones!

  20. Hopeless romantic here, I choose the happy ending! The papillotes are a sort of fortune cookies with chocolate (and other kinds of sweets, according to your mom, who made you buy un-coordinated colors for the sake of perpetual knowledge.... oh, sweet moms!)
    PS: When I was little, in communist times in Romania, we had these as well. We hanged them in the Christmas tree. They were always chocolate, tastes terrible and were the ONLY kind available. But they came in amazing metallic wrapping!

  21. This is so neat. I did not know what these were, but an elderly man from Quebec, Canada use to give me a box of chocolates at Christmas with messages. I had no idea where this custom came from. Thank you for telling me, Magali!

  22. Oh this is the story I've been waiting for...:D Thank you for posting it. There is only one ending for me, it's A - of course !!!



  23. Oh, I, the hopeless romantic. chose A, but imagined a much more complicated and lengthy series of events before they actually married! What a lovely story, and the fruit pastes look delicious. Yes, for me too, matching candy to decor is a must! lol!

    1. It's amazing what decoration makes us do: buying candies depending on the colour of their wrappings!

  24. I love answer A, but I'm sure B is closer to the truth! I'd have to pass on the fruity ones...I'm a chocolate girl. :)



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