The French have had a love affair with chocolate since 1615, when Anne of Austria (confusingly, actually Spanish) married Louis XIII of France and packed cocoa beans for drinking chocolate in her Paris-bound valise. 400 years later, French chocolates are some of the finest in the world and among the best souvenirs to take home.
There’s nothing new at A l’Étoile d’Or, and that’s perfect.
Rarely is “it’s just like it always was” a compliment, but a delighted customer at the shop’s re-opening this week meant it as high praise. The iconoclastic and historic candy shop, which features hard-to-find, old-fashioned sweets from throughout France, had been a fixture in Pigalle for over 40 years when, in February 2014, an accidental nearby explosion destroyed the shop and forced its closure. Sweet lovers mourned the loss of unusual candies like the bars of Bernachon chocolates from Lyon (the only spot in Paris to get them) or blackcurrant jellies from Dijon with a liquid center.