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In the 1930’s, Pandora Bell undertook the Grand Tour of Europe by rail. She experienced the top chocolate houses of Europe, the patisseries of France and the culinary schools of Italy.
Every detail and sensation from Pandora Bell’s journey was chronicled in her diary as she travelled. This diary was discovered years later in an Antique Shop in Ireland.
The City of Paris was where Pandora Bell came across the French sweet delicacy, the Pâte de Fruits. As Pandora walked the streets of Paris visiting the Cities Famous Chocolatiers, the Pates de Fruits caught her eye.
“I had only ever seen stained glass in books until today at Sainte Chapelle. The colours and light are heavenly. They inspired me to try some Parisian Pâte de Fruits. If a sweet can find the perfect artistic match this is it.”
Pâte de Fruits are made with real fruit pulp. The flavour of the fruit is concentrated, similar to making a jam with sugar and pectin, before setting and dusting with sugar. It was a taste revelation in freshness and purity for Pandora Bell.
“It looks like a Jelly…. But it certainly is not”.
What most enthralled our heroine was the use of ingredients: Fresh fruit and no gelatin, this was how sweets should be made.
At Place de la Madeline, Pandora Bell visited the houses of Fauchon and Hediard and tasted Pâte de Fruits made with apples, apricots, raspberries, and apricots crafted by the best chefs in Paris.
With a bag of delicacies in hand, Pandora Bell strolled the boulevards until she came across the Palais Garnier, the Great Opera House which was only a few decades in existence.
“I understand now why Paris is one of the world’s most romantic cities. The opulence of the Paris Opera House has taken my breath away. As I walked up the monumental staircase, I feel like a heroine or a true Princess.”
“Drama, music and art, whirl around me in triumph. It is stunning. I sneak a peak into the auditorium where rehearsals are in progress. I am swept away by the music, the beauty and the dedication man has to art. With my little bag of Pâte de Fruits in my pocket, I feel that I can bring something very special home from this leg of my magic journey.”