Sunday, August 26, 2018

France -- Traditional Artisanal Products

One of the things I love about France is that you can still find regional items that have been made in the same artisanal way for many decades, if not longer. Walking down the Rue des Archives, I came across Praslines Mazet, which has been making pralines (grilled and caramelized almonds) and chocolates in Montargis (in the Loire Valley) since 1903. Indeed the "veritables praslines"are made daily according to a recipe from 1636 and the company claims the praline is the oldest bonbon in France.
Mazet salted caramel pralines
Although you can buy their chocolates in department stores, there is only one, very appealing Mazet shop in Paris and one in Montargis, and I have become good friends with the shopkeeper, having bought pralines three times this week for people who have been kind enough to invite me to dinner. The pralines come in several flavors: traditional, honey, salted caramel and orange flower. I have tried the traditional and the caramel and they are pretty great. And a good gift because they are not for sale everywhere.
Mazet, 37 rue des Archives
The chocolates are not bad, either, but there are many better ones. Still, gorgeous packaging:
Chocolate bars from Mazet
Bobby Jay

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