Chocolate Courtship

Candied fruitNicola here, wishing you a very happy 10th day of Christmas! Today I am taking down my Christmas decorations and putting them away for another year. I read recently that we do the Christmas decorating thing the wrong way around – we put our decorations up too early and take them down too early too. Whereas our ancestors, knowing how dark and depressing the early days of January can be, kept on partying as long as possible!

Anyway, here is a very sweet story, courtesy of the BBC, to celebrate the fact that we are still officially in the 12 days of Christmas party season – and what better way to celebrate than with some pastries and chocolate before those resolutions kick in!

"There was, in Lyon, at the end of the 18th Century, a certain patissier called Monsieur Papillot who had in his employ a young apprentice who, in turn, had an eye for a certain beautiful maiden who lived just across the street.

The young lad contrived to woo her by stealing the choicest of his master's chocolates, one by one, and disguising them in paper – plain on the outside, but covered with illicit messages of love and promised passion on the inside – to smuggle them out of the kitchen.

Now, Papillot was an attentive businessman and soon noticed the missing chocolates. He set watch over his apprentice but when he discovered the ruse instead of sacking the boy he congratulated him on his enterprise. The lad and the maiden were wed and Papillot invented the papillote and thereby made his fortune.”

The papilotte, a chocolate or candied fruit wrapped in papers, became a French Christmas tradition. Papilotte

Here is a picture of a papillote. I couldn’t find one in the local shops so I’m “making do” with a chocolate éclair for my tea break today.

If you were to woo a loved one with chocolate or some sort of sweet treat, what would you choose?