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TIP OF THE DAY: Pâtes de Fruit

Coincidentally, since our prior post was about Michael Recchiuti’s new cassis gelée chocolate, our tip of the day focuses on pâte de fruits—a.k.a. fruit gelee or fruit jelly, although we hesitate to use the latter term because these have nothing to do with Chuckles or those jellied watermelon slices. Pâtes de fruits (pronounced pot duh froo-EE) are gourmet fruit jellies, made of fruit purée, sugar and pectin. Those other fruit jellies are made with “fruit flavoring.” A great pâte de fruit is like eating a wonderful piece of fruit in a different form (as is a great fruit sorbet). For people who like sweets but not chocolate, a perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a box of the best pâtes de fruit we know, from Paris’s Maison du Chocolat (which, conveniently, has two shops in New York City from which they do mail order). And keep a box in your own pantry. They’re so versatile: instead of (or in addition to) cookies and petit fours when friends drop by for tea or coffee; as an accent on a dessert plate; when guests can’t eat your regular dessert due to nut or chocolate allergies. In fact, if you’ve forgotten the dessert, or the soufflé flops, bring out a plate of these beautiful, jewel-colored sweets and no one will be the wiser.   Pates de Fruit
Our favorite pâtes de fruit, from La Maison du Chocolat.
By the way, the difference between pâtes de fruit, plural, and pâte de fruit, singular, is not how many pieces you get, but how many flavors. If there’s more than one flavor, use the plural, pâtes. This nuance of the French language is courtesy of our French cousin Philippe. Read more about our favorite sweets in the Gourmet Candy Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. If you pursue the greatest chocolates, visit our Chocolate Section.

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