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Best caramels in Paris?

  • PegS Oct 10, 2011 09:37 AM
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Need to bring back some great caramels for a special new mom's gift. I'll definitely stop by Jacques Genin, but any other recommendations for ones that might be slightly more affordable so I can bring back more than a handful? Close to the Marais a plus but totally willing to hit anyplace in central Paris.

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  1. The extra cash spent of Genin's caramels are worth it -- I have never eaten anything comparable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nancy S.

      Second Jacques Genin though I miss the days when we would get a kilo for 60 Euros.

    2. JG caramels are indeed worth the extra expense. Better than Henri Le Roux caramels that you can get by mail order in the US anyway - so a trip to Pris is not essential for those.

      However, you may want to take a trip to the candy shop L'Etoile d'Or in the 9th. Interesting selection of candies from all over France

      1. Denise Acabo at L'Etoile d'Or is indeed worth the trip but as l am sucking a mango caramel from Genin now, IMVHO there is no better piece of candy in the world.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Just to add, L'Etoile d'Or does sell JG caramels..... but there is no substitution for the rest and relaxation of the tea salon at JG.

          You can't go wrong with any of the pastries at JG (where there is no such thing as overordering), but just in case you want a rec, the lemon basil tart will surprise you.

          1. re: Steve

            Had a taste from Jacques Genin himself of the cream in the lemon tart, and still wonder what the brilliant lemon flavor was from. Almost like a lemon curd with an extra dose of something lemon that knocks your socks off.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Yes, but still it's not acrid like all the pedestrian tarts out there. At face value, it doesn't seem possible, and yet.....

              1. re: Steve

                I've been reading loads about his mille-feuille, but that only has me curious. Something lemony, though, will have me running over there!

                1. re: PegS

                  St Honore was the patron saint of bakers, and the pastry 'St Honore' is like a greatest hits of classic French pastrymaking, incorporating several techniques of standards like a millefeuille, all in one pastry.

                  My suggestion: One of everything!

            2. re: Steve

              be careful about the over-ordering: I can't remember how many pastries my party of 4 ordered, but it was about 130 euros worth. I only had 1 heavenly bite of each and it almost cured me of pastries for life.

              1. re: kerosundae

                Wow, that really is a lot of pastry . I didn't mean THAT much, but don't cheat yourself. If four people order a fifth pastry, it's worth the expense in case you're curious.

                1. re: Steve

                  yea, there was:
                  millefeuilles caramel
                  millefeuilles raspberry
                  little choux assortment
                  eclair coffee
                  eclair caramel
                  lime pie
                  lime basil pie
                  raspberry pie
                  flan x2
                  apple pie
                  ephemere passion
                  ephemere chocolat
                  opera
                  hot chocolate x2
                  might have forgotten some.
                  the DH ate for the 2 of us. We really had NOTHING left over. but I strongly suggest that you try to convince your friends to return another day if they really want to try EVERYTHING.

            3. re: Delucacheesemonger

              For me there is a better piece of candy: the passion fruit one. =)

              1. re: kerosundae

                They are the same one, has mango and passion fruit in it.

            4. Okay, I throw up my hands in surrender! ;-) I guess Genin it must be.

              1. Let me tell you, Peg.... just one or two of Genin's caramels is a better gift than a whole sack from another shop. They are just unbelievably delicious.

                1. I don't know if they are any cheaper Patrick Roger makes awesome caramels too.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: tortoiseshell

                    That said, I would also advise trying a sample of any product before buying in any quantity.

                    (Covering my head with my hands to protect it from lobbed bricks,) I didn't like Genin's mango caramels. To me, they were just sweet and gummy, lacking toothsomeness, melting away in an instant leaving me with...nothing. I had one, passed the sachet to my husband and never looked back.

                    1. re: mangeur

                      Then you wouldn't like the ones from Henri LeRoux, they are sweeter.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        l was imagining a beginning relationship with you, now regrettably that hope must end. Lack of toothsomeness is the reason l love them so much. The way they melt on the tongue and disappear. Never had a gummy one, oh well, more for me.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          My husband and I have opposite taste for many foods. Works beautifully. Perfect sharing. Nothing for the dog.

                        2. re: mangeur

                          I'm not a fan of the mango flavor either, but I love the vanilla and plain and pistachio. I brought home 10 of each, and consumed them all.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            I was happily gifted with some of these toothsome treats by a chowhound. And now I am in love. Am looking forward to visiting the shop myself this winter and trying other flavors. Mango is not normally one of my favorites, but these were SO good.

                        3. Okay, reporting back. Our last day in Paris we settled down for an afternoon snack at Jacques Genin. Yes, given that it was our last day, I totally over-ordered. The lemon tart was lovely, though fine restaurant lovely and not the second coming of Christ lovely. My pot of hot chocoloate was good, but I couldn't finish it given all the sweets in front of me. My husband's rose-scented white tea was fine indeed, and nicely cut into all the sweet stuff. Surprisingly, what I really fell for was the mille-feuille. The puff pastry was so crisp and caramelized.

                          As for the caramels. Unfortunately, I fall in with Mangeur's sentiments. They were perfectly fine caramels, but I really like slightly more toothiness to my caramels. The ones I like best at home are the artisanal ones that "give" slightly when you bite into them, and the JG caramels were just too uniformly soft. The giftee felt the same way I did, but her husband pronounced them divine.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: PegS

                            It takes all kinds, even the likes of you and me. ;)

                            1. re: PegS

                              Although I have admitted to loving the caramels, so that I am firmly a fan of JG, I was most disappointed with the vanilla mille feuille -- I cannot understand the raves. The pastry was indeed quite nice, but I thought that the flavor and texture of the pastry cream was not that delicious.

                              1. re: PegS

                                If you like toothiness (which I prefer too) try Patrick Roger's simple but sublime chocolate covered caramels which are sold with the chocolates rather than the caramels. I got it at the boutique on Victor Hugo. I frequent all of the shops and find that the inventory varies slightly from one place to the other so you may not find it at each of the boutiques.