Paris in Toronto
So having returned from my trip to Europe where a good portion of my time was spent in Paris, does any one know where I can find the following:
1) Caramel au beurre salé - either the individual chocolate squares or the spread
2) Great chocolates - Lindt makes this white chocolate with almonds and apricots that sounds strange, but combines to create a nougat-type treat
3) Good purveyors of French cheeses for a decent price
4) Any specialty stores that carry French jams and food products
I am clearly in severe withdrawal from my trip and trying to prolong assimilation back into North American culture :) But I found that the quality of ingredients really made a difference. I am quite lactose intolerant, but could eat cheese and cream with no problems in Europe. I am hoping that I can still indulge in cheeses if I buy them imported from France. Has any one else found this to be true? Also, thanks in advance for any suggestions to my queries above!
Hmm, now that's a nice list of cravings. Let me see if I can help a bit:
1) Is this the kind of chocolate you sometimes see that has caramel and a bit of sea salt? If so, I've only seen it in individual chocolates, not a spread - the now defunct JS Bonbons used to make these. Pretty sure Soma does as well.
2) I don't know about the white chocolate nougaty treat you describe but Soma makes wonderful chocolates - high quality chocolate, interesting combinations and great mouth feel. I particularly like the green tangerine bars as well as small bites of the Mayan spiced one.
3) Lots of places with extensive French cheese imports - Cheese Boutique, Whole Foods, All the Best, Pusateri's. For best value, I'd probably start with Alex Farms (St. Lawrence Market and a few other locations around town).
4) Most of the places I listed in #3 will carry Bonne Maman jams and others.
Bonne chance et bon appetit!
Hmmm. I'm not sure about 1 and 2, but for number 3 I'd suggest the following for all your fromage-y needs...
Thin Blue Line on Roncesvalles,
La Fromagerie on College
Global Cheese in Kensington Market
the cheese vendor at Trinity Bellwoods farmers market
As for numero 4, I'd suggest Cheese Boutique to begin and then perhaps hunting around SLM, Kensington and some of the higher-end food shops in the city.
I miss the cheese in Paris, and the saucisson, and the wine, and the city...
I say check out Soma for #1 and #2. I've had great success with Alex Farms on the Danforth. There's a few locations - Bayview and Eglinton and I think Eglinton and Yonge also.
Oh yeah, escoffier has it right, just go to La Fromagerie on College and you'll find fab cheeses, imported butter and Odile chocolates that are v. yummy. They also have a wall of fams and stuff from France. But think local! Further down College, other side of Dovercourt is a new place called Pantry...not sure what they're doing but it looks v. cute. Shop Ontario!
Great french style chocolates can be found at Ambiance Chocolat, 753 Queen Street East, including caramel with fleur de sel.
St.Lawrence Market is your best bet for the rest, as far as I know.
If you want a true French baguette with the proper mie find a Dominion store that provides the Première Moisson bread products from Québec. I can vouch that Pain Perdu on St Clair W makes wonderful croissants (their baguette unfortunately is nothing more than a glorified "Vienna stick"; tasty in its own right but certainly not a classic baguette).