Paris Pastries

Tarte Caramel Salé.

You can’t find a lot of American candy in France (and yes, I realize what I just said). I was moderately distressed by the fact that there was not a Junior Mint or York Peppermint Patty to be found…anywhere. It’s not that the French don’t care for the flavor, it’s that if they want chocolate covered mints, they get them hand made in single serving batches by this place. A fair trade one might say.

It is interesting to note what candies do make it over to this side of the Atlantic though- M&M’s of the peanut variety, Snickers and Twix of all things. But after enjoying (understatement of the century) Sadaharu Aoki’s Parisian equivalent of our American milk chocolate staple, I am ruined for life. Never again will I crave the double-stickness of the Mars Twix bar, because I, dear reader, now know what’s out there.

With a buttery sablé biscuit as its base, Aoki then layers on sweet caramel, accented ever so slightly by Guerande fleur de sel. This pool of salty-sweet perfection is then topped with the airiest milk chocolate cream known to man and carefully dusted with cocoa powder. Le Twix, if you will.

Go ahead, dive right in, but be warned: It’s a familiar taste and yet, this particular combination of milk chocolate and caramel is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You’ll start to question your childhood. You may begin to cry. You understand now why French children do not trick or treat on Halloween- what’s the point when they can get our candy equivalent after the park each day? You’ll slowly start to wonder if you’ll ever look at the candy aisle at Walgreens the same way again. Why would they do this, you ask. Was it better that you didn’t know?

But some things you just don’t question. Some times it’s best just to sit down, stuff your face and be thankful.

Sadaharu Aoki. 6th arrondissement.