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 gelée or fruit jellies, although we hesitate to use these terms because these have nothing to do with American candies like Chuckles and jellied watermelon slices, made with “fruit flavoring.”
Pâtes de fruits (pronounced pot duh froo-EE) are gourmet fruits jellies, made of fruit purée, sugar and pectin. 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 for us, has five shops in New York City and a website.
Keep an extra box in your own pantry. These edible gems are 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.
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 webzine. If you pursue the greatest chocolates, visit our Chocolate Section
 Our favorite pâtes de fruit, from La Maison du Chocolat.  Some pâtissiérs, such as Charles Chocolates in California, prefer this half dome shape.