Advent is regarded as the first season or the beginning of the liturgical year in the Western Christian church calendar starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th and ending on Christmas, a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ on Christmas. Advent wreaths adorn homes and churches with their four candles — three purple and one pink — symbolizing hope, love, joy (represented by the pink candle and traditionally lit on the third Sunday of Advent) and peace. Advent calendars are traditionally used to count the days of Advent leading up to Christmas and its joys. Although today a host of goodies have entered into the spiritual scene including objects to delight young and old alike.
A number of French advent calendars revolve, not surprisingly, around food. There is a cheese calendar, a tea calendar, a spice calendar, chocolate calendars in addition to a perhaps more classic beauty product calendar. The Gourmet Gazette brings you a small repertoire of these holiday staples and some of the houses ship not only in France but to the wilder shores beyond.
The Lyon-based house of Bernachon has brought out its Advent calendar as a series of miniature chocolate bars which underscore the house’s philosophy of bean to bar. The master chocolate maker has been in operation since 1953 and currently the third generation of Bernachons is at its helm. The calendar of 24 mini-bars can be shipped anywhere in the world and it is wrapped in responsibly harvested FSC paper. http://www.bernachon.com/
French pastry chef and chocolate maker Vincent Guerlais has brought out an enticing assortment of small packages from Santa Claus filled with the house’s emblematic chocolates and cookies. The house was founded in 1997 in the Breton city of Nantes in western France by Karen and Vincent Guerlais. The house ships throughout France. http://www.vincentguerlais.com/
Meanwhile the house of Le Bonheur based in Paris and Saint Petersburg has brought out a beautiful chocolate filled Advent calendar bursting with a host of tastes ranging from sesame to ginger to tasty sea salt. The 24 chocolates come in a beautiful red and gold box and the house’s chef, Laurent Moreno drew his inspiration from the house’s symbol, the angel. The house ships throughout France and to a selection of other countries as well, though the buyer may be responsible for import duties. https://lebonheurparis.com/
Meanwhile the Colors of Tea Advent calendars are an invitation to blind taste a different organic tea or herbal tea over the 24 days. The flavorful answers can be found on the Colors of Tea website in case you couldn’t figure it out. The Advent calendars made by craftsmen in Bordeaux can be re-used year in and year out by ordering a refill. The house ships throughout France and the European Union. https://colorsoftea.fr/
On another gastronomic note Terre Exotique, the French house specialized in peppers, spices and exotic savors, has brought out a fun and instructive Advent calendar offering a new taste treat for 24 days. Each of the samples is accompanied by a description and recipe. The house is known for unearthing little known peppers and spices offering a new gourmet sensation and a glimpse into other worlds. Terre Exotique ships anywhere but you may have to pay import duties depending upon the location. https://www.terreexotique.fr/
France would not be France without an Advent calendar devoted to cheese which is what the house of La Boîte du Fromager (the cheese monger’s box) is offering. For 24 days a selection of exceptional and rare cheeses are on offer. The boxes are shipped with 12 cheeses each, ten days apart to guarantee the quality of the product. The 24 pieces of cheese weigh in at 1.2 kilos with each portion weighing about 50 grams. The Boîte du Fromager delivers throughout France and to some European countries. http://www.laboitedufromager.com
The house of Rituals has brought out its Countdown to Christmas Rituals of Advent calendar filled with fun and fragrant samples to try and test while waiting for Christmas. The calendar has been brought out in two formats with different beauty rituals containing fabulous surprises like the Amsterdam Collection shower gel and the Ritual of Ayurveda hand lotion. Another surprise tucked in are the four scented advent candles. Rituals ships to many parts of the world. http://www.rituals.com
©The Gourmet Gazette