French Christmas Tradition no. 2
A papillote is a chocolate (or candied fruit) that is wrapped in tissue paper with a note written on it. The sparkly golden exterior paper has fringed ends. Some papillotes, the ones I like the best, have a small firecracker inside. When you pull on the ends it sets the firecracker off and POPS! The papillote was created in Lyon at the end of the 18th century.
Legend has it that a young man who worked in a candy shop was in love with a girl downstairs (the French are so romantic and their stories often twist around kisses, drama and love... so up my alley.) To attract the young love's attention he wrapped love notes around each of the chocolates and tossed them into her window. (Of course striking her heart, watering her mouth, and causing sparks to fly.) The owner of the candy shop found out their little secret. He found it original, and the idea has flamed into a delicious French Christmas tradition.
Papillotes are usually decorate the Christmas table.
Papillotes are to the French what candy canes are to Americans. Though gee really, how can you compare chocolate, love notes that spark and go pop.... to a red and white peppermint cane? Then again Santa has a many tricks up his sleeve, a candy cane is just one of them.
French husband are you playing Santa this year?
Note: If you want to buy some papillotes check this out.