Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Haribo--The Sweet Life

Haribo, c’est beau la vie – pour les grands et les petits, french tagline
On Saturday we went to the Haribo Museum in Uzes, a small town north of Nimes. We went once before when one of the besties and her kids were here in the summer. That time was not easy. It was packed to the gills with a 40 minute line just to get into the candy shop portion of the museum. People were waiting in line and then coming out with packing boxes overflowing with gummy bears, marshmallows and assorted sweeties. Most of them stopped to take their photo in front of the big and kind of creepy statue of the Haribo mascot. He has helmet hair and a blacked out smile from all the sugary sweets.
There is also a big pink marshmallow that the children were climbing all over and where the Baby decided to have an impatient, 2-year old back and forth over shoes, screaming like an American kid in public moment. This was in the summer remember so there were a million people there to view my struggle and shame. And as I write this it occurs to me that maybe this was the moment the Baby decided he really hates marshmallows, because he does, very much. And as you know he doesn't dislike much.
i could eat me some of those!
It was because of this incident with the big pink marshmallow and the Baby that he and I stayed outside while the others enjoyed the museum tour and packets of my favorite Haribo sweet, the Floppy, dispensed from a big candy packaging machine. Cool.
I had to get back there and get some of my very own packets of Floppy from the machine. This was my main motivation for suggesting we return to the Musee du Bon-Bon. This and the fact that I know Mon Mari has a mouth full of sweet teeth and he'd think it was cool too.

Because it was raining there were no lines. Another good reason for going in the off-season. We waltzed right in, bought our tickets, accepted our complimentary packets of gummy bears and started down candy lane. It was interesting and kinda cool and they had those models set up of people doing stuff in the candy factory of old that remind me of when I was a kid in the 70s and we'd go on school trips. You know, the blank-eyed ladies sitting at a table, white plaster hands frozen in a task for all eternity.
eternal plaster hands and scary eyes
mr hans riegel forever at work

My favorite part was the fashion area where they had a display of clothing made using Haribo candies. The wedding dress of marshmallows was pretty and the swanky licorice dress was well, black and swanky.
marshmallow wedding dress? kinky!
swanky licorice dress

And we all had fun in the 'solve the mystery of candy by using your senses' area.* You had to plongez your hand into a hidey-hole to feel the mystery sweet, push a button to hear a corresponding sound like giggling because certain sweeties just make us so darn happy, push another button to have a blast of scent explode in your face (mmm, vanilla), alas, no tasting but that's just to build up to the gift shop, and finally when you think you've solved the riddle you get to see if you guessed correctly. Fun. We all agreed we didn't like the smell of licorice and that pineapple jellies smell the best.

Way down in the lower level of the museum is where they display the old machines used for packaging the candy as well as a reduced model of the factory floor. The best was getting four of my very own packets of Floppy. Mitts off kids.These are Mama's. I'm more of a chocolate girl when it comes to sweets but there is something about the sugary red flavor of the perfectly chewy and dissolving Floppy. Have you ever had one? Addictive.

imagine being locked in here
just look at it all
All of this naturally culminates at the entrance to the candy shop. TaaaaDaaaa! All the sweets you've just seen, imagined, smelled, gotten yourself all jazzed up to taste again (sour spaghetti anyone?) can be bought. Genius.

We spent 25 euro on a bizarrely heavy bag of sugar, took our photo with the creepy, helmet hair, black toothy guy and were on our way.

big bag of sugar
The feeding frenzy began in earnest when we were all buckled up and on the road. Bag at my feet, I dispensed jelly fried eggs, strawberry Tagada, gummy bears, jelly beans, sour coca-cola spaghetti, sour strawberry spaghetti, more Floppy, banana candy (ugh) and coca-cola bottle jellies until even the kids threw in the white flag. It was fun. Real fun. And I got that sugar high that feels like a drug and felt all wonky.
Then we went to Pont du Gard to run it all out of our systems. And we drank about a gallon of water each.
Pont du Gard post to follow.

*this is not the official name of the area


  1. I heart Haribo. I heart Haribo hard.
    And does anybody not get creeped out by those 'people' frozen in time?? Creepy.

  2. I HAVE GOT to go to this museum. I didn't even know it existed!!! Maybe Sara Louise and I can plan a sugar binge trip.

  3. It is super fun. You should go and fill up on the goods!

  4. Did you take more than one packet from the packing machine? Sure? You didn't take as much as you could fit into your pockets? Sure? :D

  5. I've never dared take my kids there. They would refuse to leave.

  6. Haribo Floppy? Glad I'm not the only one then.. I could easily become addicted to these things.. Sometimes one handful just isn't enough! I've been trying to work out what the predominant taste is.. The most more-ish product on the market..


It makes my day to read your comments. They're an answer to my floating words in blogland.