Scratch ‘n Sniff – without scratching !
After that worldwide chocolate roundup a few days ago, I certainly have chocolate on the brain – lots of recommendations from readers and still my own chocolate drawer filled to the brim with new bars to taste. (Might need another roundup soon!) It seems like I am seeing and smelling chocolate everywhere. Even in my mailbox.
A little envelope arrived today from France. In it were two sheets of stamps resembling a chocolate bar. There is even artwork around the perforations to represent the wrapper’s foil – so fun. Ten 56 centime stamps to a sheet, each with a different image related to Le Chocolat – cocoa pods, someone biting into a bar, a cup of hot chocolate and most important of all perhaps, one that says Bayonne 1609. About a month ago, my friend Chloé Doutre-Roussel (chocolate maven herself) sent me a link for an article in Le Point, announcing France’s new chocolate stamps. They were designed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of cocoa beans at the port of Bayonne in France, near the Spanish border. Definitely worthy of a celebration! I unfortunately could not be in Bayonne for the festivities, but asked a friend in France to mark her calendar for May 25th when these stamps would be available at post offices throughout the country.
Well, there are some serious chocolate fans and/or stamp collectors in the town of Chalon-sur-Saône! Sold out, and the post office is still waiting for more chocolate stamps to come in. So I asked my mother-in-law to go to her local post office and send some on. That same day, I received an email from her that read, “Got the stamps! But boy oh boy does my handbag smell of chocolate!” Oh, did I mention… the stamps SMELL like chocolate too?!
First thing I did when I opened the envelope this morning was put the sheet to my nose. Lo and behold, they smell like chocolate! I don’t know for how long these stamps will be available (nor for how long the aroma will last!), but if you live in France, it’s worth a visit to your local Poste to get a whiff – or if your friends (or mother-in-law) live there, have them check. Otherwise, you can order them online. In case you are wondering – no, the stamps don’t actually taste like chocolate too when you lick them!
Here in Switzerland, we have some fun stamps too – cheese, potatoes, a Swiss army knife and chocolate too of course. Only thing is, they all smell like… stamps.