Thursday, October 31, 2013

Salon du Chocolat - Tartiner

I love Burnt Sienna. It's my favorite watercolor. Is it because it's the color of caramels?
The Salon du Chocolat this year was flooded with pate de tartiner of noisette/hazelnuts and caramel au beurre sale.
Throw out your salted butter PBers. France is now putting these two yummy spreads on their toast in the morning.
The tartiner de noisette from Basques Paries is...are there words to describe this? Smooth, lush, intensely nutty. They now have a shop in Paris at 9bis rue Saint Placide 75006
I bought one from Pascal Legac too. Fortunately Geraldine of PPP took it off my hands (this is what friends are for). Can one person have two jars of noisette tartiner in the house, especially if that person would flunk the 'Marshmallow Test' in a clin d'oeil/wink. I think not.
The jars are sooooo beautiful.
Running out of euros helps build resistance!
I love these old-fashioned granny jars...maim
During the shoot at Frederic Cassel Fontainebleau for the Winter items for the new catalog,
Chef Cassel got to hold a spoon with dripping caramel. It's hard work but someone has to do it. He opened a year old jar ("vintage' caramel?) for the drip. We all took a taste and lived to tell the tale.I was told at the Salon,
Do not put your tartiner in the fridge.
And eat it up within 10 days.
When Louise saw my picture yesterday of Henri Le Roux' pain perdu she had to have it.
Fortunately I turned up and we shared a taste.
So many jars of caramel.
So little resistance...
On the confiserie/candy floor (stand E4) do not miss these 4th generation caramels from Les Nicettes.
Made by two young entrepreneurs, these caramels are to die for IMHO, artisanal, sans colorant and sans conservateur. I'm hoping Le Bonbon au Palais will carry them so I don't have to go to the Pyrenees for my next hit.
If you'd like to make your own, the NYTimes has a recipe to follow front page. And if you're coming to Paris and want to look like a caramel never passed your lips please do contact me for your portrait in Paris.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I ate at Salon du Chocolat Opening Night

Fortunately I squirrel away many of the samples they hand out on opening night at the Salon du Chocolat...the better to show you all.
Clever chocolatier Pierre Marcolini had a roped off area demonstrating
The bean-to-bar process of making chocolate. This includes tasting roasted beans and feves, broken up bits of bean that often can go into a bar and are quite tasty.
Enfin his exquisitely refined chocolates.
Cacao beans were everywhere in all states of development as a reminder where this luscious candy comes from...
There was plenty of goofy stuff at the Salon du Chocolat. Don't worry.
These Cemoi Petit Ourson/little chocolate marshmallow-filled bears seem to have taken on a sex. Is the 1st one pregnant?
Life-size Mikado chocolate sticks - you can find Mikado in all the supermarkets here. Top pastry chefs are fond of adding it to their creations.
The M.I.A. French squirrel can be depended upon to show up
Some of my favorite chocolates: these seasonally flavored half globes from Hugo and Victor.
Pierre Herme has a booth this year at the Salon
His smallest box is a wonderful treat!
Sadaharu Aoki has a variety of the vert croissants and cakes.
Chocolat chaud
Henri Le Roux' specially designed treat this year was pain perdu smothered in caramel au beurre sale.
I could not resist Arnaud Larher's Kouign Amann. I bought it last year and died and went to heaven. Fortunately in the taxi going home Georges took it and a number of my other irresistible Salon acquisitions off my hands (and off my hips).
Some of Larher's chocolate pastries from last night.
As soon as you come in the door Poilane + beurre Bordier + shredded chocolate as your 1st bite of the evening.
This year there is a separate floor for the candy makers. Georges Marques of Le Bonbon au Palais was in charge of organizing it.
I fell victim to these wonderful caramels made with goats milk. MIAM. Thank you Georges for taking them away with you or I'd be munching this minute.
Georges' candy stand was decorated with big wall paintings made by kids in nearby schools describing their taste experiences. By the end of the evening these bowls were near empty.
Merci mille for inviting me last night Georges!
Did I mention I've been doing pastry illustrations for Frederic Cassel Fontainebleu..? What a surprise to see them used all over the walls of his stand at the Salon! *Note that devilishly good jar of caramel au beurre sale in the right corner...
MILLE MERCI Chef Frederic!!
What to wear to opening night at the Salon du Chocolat
A DIY batch of necklaces made with Georges candies and very much inspired by Coco Jobard's pile of Chanel necklaces seen at the Petrossian event. This morning it's many splashes of cold water and cups of hot chocolate so I can get out and face another round of the Chocolate Salon. Bonne Chance!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Marche Batignolles Biologic

Saturday I finally made it over to the marche Biologique des Batignolles in the 17th arr, near Place de Clichy. I seem to zigzag between the intensely healthy and heavenly excess in my food adventures. This week will be a plunge into the deep end of heavenly chocolate and sweets at the Salon du Chocolat, so why not shore up with a little healthy balance?
It appears many producteurs here show up at the marche Raspail organic the following day on Sunday. This setting is a bit easier to navigate. Four rows of purveyors on an esplanade in the middle of the boulevard. More zigzagging of course.
I've been flirting with fresh figs for weeks in the marche. Le noire de Sollies AOC from the Var are very fine indeed. I'd read somewhere they should be a bit firm. At organic marches in Paris you're allowed to pick out the fruit and veg yourself unlike other marches. I roasted these split with portobellos and cherry tomatoes drizzled with Balsamic, honey and topped with Za'atar. Plus Longley Farm Cottage cheese and roquette...sigh.
Fresh hazelnuts. Nothing like them! They're crunchy yet not the least bit dry like other noisettes I've eaten. They don't shake in their shell either.
Look for the letters BIO and AB and AOC when you're buying organic. Some of the most simple vegetables here have a CV as long as your arm.
Fresh oysters...next time.
An Italian purveyor who goes to Raspail as well.
At Raspail the lines are always so long
For these onion-potato pancakes. No line so I bought. I'll be back for these.
Just beautiful produce.
The colors!
Les légumes oubliés are trendy and hot. Black radishes like these. Rutabagas, Jerusalem artichokes, blue potatoes, beets Chiogga.
Kale is super hot.
Chefs were buying it up in the market.
Who else would be buying flat after flat of unusual veggies?
Plus they co-ordinated with the tomatoes.
To market, to market to buy a fig..
Today it's off to the Chocolat Salon Professional and a dive in the deep end. It's sink or swim in Paris.