France: Le Bonbon au Palais, A Candy Store Worth Visiting
Georges Marques is France’s very own Willy Wonka.
He was inspired to create a 1950s-style schoolhouse that takes visitors on a sweet journey back to their childhoods with an abundance of old-fashioned treats, candied fruits, jellies, and chocolates. His store pays tribute to the beauty behind the creativity and artistic vision of candy-making in France. Marques himself carefully chooses each variety of the 200-plus candies he sets out on display in his shop, which are thoughtfully arranged in vintage apothecary jars. Marques doesn’t just look at flavors, though; he also places great emphasis on the history behind the candy.
The berlingots de Carpentras he sells, for example, are said to be have been a favorite of Pope Clement V in the fourteenth century, and more recently have been produced by the same manufacturer since 1844. A nostalgic favorite from a Frenchman’s childhood known as petit pois au lard (peas with bacon) can be found at Bonbon, as can bergamot-flavored jellies from Nancy; vibrant green marzipan with chocolate from Lyon; a specialty from the Pyrenees called Le Teton de la Reine Margot ("Queen Margot breast”), and many more confections that chronicle France’s history in sugar.