Step into a French grocery store, big or small, and walk towards the yogurt and refrigerated dessert aisle.
What you'll notice first is the stunning variety of products, similar to the cereal aisle in the United States yet so different from the yogurt selection you would find there. In France, yogurt and crème dessert are found in nearly every family's fridge.
Look back at the aisle in the grocery store. There will be a large section devoted to colorful packs of four individual dessert puddings: Danettes.
A quick YouTube search of "Danette" will show you just how impactful their advertising, with the popular slogan "On se lève tous pour Danette" ("Everybody rises for Danette"), has been throughout the years. First introduced in 1970, you can now find fifteen flavors at any given time. They range from the classic vanilla or chocolate, to the more daring extra dark chocolate, vanilla-caramel, or pistachio. Watch out, though: don't get these confused with Jell-O pudding. Danettes are primarily made with whole milk and have a true creamy taste that you don't find in any other industrial dessert.
Peek into the fridge of any French pudding aficionado--whether they're 10 or 100 years old--and there's a good chance you'll find a tub of Danette. My personal preference is the extra dark chocolate, but give me any other flavor and I'll be more than happy to devour it.
Since Danette was created in 1970, exactly forty years ago, they decided to celebrate with a bang. A beang, meaning a huge Danette free-for-all in the heart of Paris. For a week in mid-September, you could walk right into the Danette "pop-up store" in the first arrondissement and have your pick of one of the fifteen flavors, with an array of crunchy toppings: coconut, crispy chocolate cereal, you name it. Once you grabbed your Danette, you could head over to the baking space, where a chef demonstrated how to use Danettes in baked goods, namely chocolate tart.
Of course, the best part was going back outside with your Danette in hand. One look around you and it was pretty easy to notice that everyone was looking at you--with an extreme sensation of jealousy.
As they say, on se lève tous pour Danette. In some countries, you rise for a flag. In others, well, it's all about dessert.