David Lebovitz once worked as a pastry chef at Alice Water's famous Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse, and now lives in Paris where, among many other things, he writes a blog that's both hysterical and informative: Living the Sweet Life in Paris. He has lots of culinary and gustatory advice on where to shop and eat in this beautiful city. Because face it, Paris is a big place and while there's tons of great food to be had here, there's also tons of just ordinary stuff as well and at Parisian prices, who wants to settle for that? So I've been taking his advice to heart, especially his post: Ten Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn't Miss in Paris. So far, I've only managed to check four items off the list. But after my latest experience, I'm psyched to keep going.
So let us discuss number 5 on his list: Henri Le Roux's CBS Caramels, for sale at L'Etoile d'Or on the rue Fontaine, not far from the Pigalle metro. I need to disclaim first that I'm really not a chocolate person. I mean it's fine and all that but given the choice between a chocolate cake and a lemon tart, I always go with the tart. Chocolate or caramel? No contest. So when I happened into Denise Acabo's shop last week with a friend who was busy buying the dark stuff, I was wracking my brains for what I should purchase so I didn't look like a complete ingrate. Fortunately, when I saw the bagged caramels, I remembered David Lebovitz's list.
What can I say? These caramels are a revelation. They melt in your mouth with buttery sweetness that's unlike anything I've ever tasted. The bag I bought had several different flavors, including chocolate and pomme tatin, but the original was the hands down winner. And that little shop is apparently the only place in Paris where they're sold. I'll be back.