When the Comte de Renynaud eats himself into a coma of illegal indulgences in Juliet Binoche’s window of coverture in ‘Chocolat’ all of us choco-holics sweet teeth skipped a beat and we tried to book tickets to France on our mobile phones.
Since that scene I’ve nurtured a little dream of discovering a little chocolate heaven in France, and when wandering down the centre of Old Town in Nice, I happened upon just such a place.
Canel is a tiny treasure trove of all things delicious. The 30 year old ‘confiserie’ is an institution in the coastal town of Nice and creates all manner of moreish morsels.
Tucked under a green awning on your left as you exit the pedestrial mall of ‘Centre Ville’ toward Antibes it would be quite easy to miss the pretty little wonderland of tasty treats.
The shop assistants speak a little English and are most helpful, they didn’t even mind me snapping shots of the store and its plethora of mouth-watering wares but remember – always ask before you shoot.
In market baskets along the main window arzipan mimicks host of fresh foods; eggplants (aubergine), tomatoes, cherries, tomatoes, apples, fish, even fromage (cheese)! Turn around and you’ll see a lifelike tray of hotdog and chips or a tiny selection of brioche and croissants but there’s not a dairy product present, they’re all marvelous marzipan.
Souvenir tins sporting old time images of the Cote d’Azur’s tranquil towns are delightful (and delicious) gifts for friends. Glace fruits of course are present and plentiful, as is an extensive range of nougats and dipped bits (nuts, dried fruit, crunchy caramel).
Just when you think the little shop couldn’t hold anymore goodies peek into the glass counter before you go to pay, the range of artisan, hand crafted truffles, caramels, bon bons and treats ‘good for the lips, straight to the hips’ as my mother used to say (actually..she still does!)
Next time you’re in Nice pop Canel atop your list and prepare your tongue for tout-les-treats!