Fruit Paste

Pâtes de fruit

[Pâtes de fruit]

Today is my father‘s birthday. And as has been the tradition for as long as I can remember (and probably long before that), one of his gifts will be his favorite treat, a big assortment of pâtes de fruits.

Pâtes de fruit, literally “fruit pastes”, are firm pieces of sweet fruit purée, a bit like jam made solid, rolled in sugar and cut into various shapes, generally squares or rectangles. The quality is highly variable — I remember the loathsome ones they used to give us at summer camp — but the good ones are wonderfully flavorful, with a great chewy-melty texture, and a sweetness so intense it makes the hair in your nape stand up.

My father eats one (or two or three) with the evening cup of tea, popping each thick sugar-coated square into his mouth in one swift move and letting it melt there a bit, momentarily depriving him of his freedom of speech, until the fruit velvet invasion is complete and a second phase of chewing-chomping-swallowing finishes the job.

And my father is generous, he will gladly share his bounty with us, handing us the box, letting us fold back the layers of silky paper that protect the precious multicolored gems, and choose whichever flavor we like best. I love my father.

Joyeux Anniversaire Papa!

  • http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/ chika

    happy birthday, Monsieur!

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    Bonne anniversaire, papa de Clotilde!

  • Hande

    Happy Birthday, coolest dad in France (and beyond)

  • The other daughter (glowing with pride!)

    Bon anniversaire, mon petit Papa, “coolest Dad in France” ! :-)

  • cheesy chilaquiles

    Clotilde,

    Please extend my congratulations to your father on the occasion of his birthday.

    As you were nice enough to include a clickable Hédiard reference, I now know that Hédiard itself is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Thanks for the lead, I enjoyed visiting their website.

    R.

  • http://www.cucinatestarossa.com laura

    where is the link to the recipe!?!?!?!

  • Your papounet

    I was deeply moved to see this new entry in your blog, Clo. So nice of you to think of your old Dad like this! And you are so observant, it’s fantastic. This is exactly how I eat them…!

    The other gift I’ve had, in the alimentary category, is a big “bouquet de chocolats” from the Atelier du Chocolat de Bayonne… Oh my! Out of this world, this bouquet… Yes indeed, the apple never falls far from the tree, in this respect at least!

  • Your papounet

    Oh, and many thanks to you, chika, Jackie, Hande and Cheesy, for your birthday greetings! And a special load of thanks to “the other daughter”, whom I love deeply too!

  • asha

    Clotilde’s father, you share this birthday with my dad! October 6 is a lovely day to have been born on. A very happy birthday to you. :)

  • catherine

    hi, clotilde
    first of all, happy birthday to your father
    It’s very meaningful and special tradition to prepare a gift out of one’s favourite treats.
    Certainly, fruit pastes looks wonderful and tasty.
    Have a wonderful time with your daddy

  • http://loveandcooking.blogspot.com Charlotte

    Happy (Belated) birthday!!

    (mmm, sounds good … and, no, the apple did not fall far from the tree.)

  • http://seattlebonvivant.typepad.com Seattle Bon Vivant

    Joyeux anniversaire Monsieur Dusoulier! :-)

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Thanks to all of you for the kind wishes to my father, I have to admit that he is, indeed, the coolest dad I’ve ever met… And Papa, je suis ravie que tu aies appréciée ce petit post rien que pour toi!

  • Nassim

    bon anniversaire Patrick!

    Que cette nouvelle année soit aussi dense qu’une aventure de Cugel!

  • Your papounet

    Et que Iucounu ne m’expédie pas à l’autre bout du monde, dans une cage…
    Merci de tes bons voeux, Nassim !

  • JoYa

    Pssst, Clotilde. Mon papounet aime beaucoup les pâtes de fruit également et je viens de le régaler avec les délicieuses Mosaic (pistache/cerise) de Hermé. Voilà pour le tuyeau.

  • trevor

    you are wonderful. Such beautiful writing.

  • Your papounet

    I have sad news, but I must impart them, since my heart is too heavy… Those pâtes de fruit from Hédiard are no longer what they used to be… At my last birthday (6 october 2005), I found them a bit hard to chew, not so tasty, not so heart-warmingly melting in the mouth… But I thought, all right, an unfortunate batch, so be it, those things happen… But I recently had another box from my mum, for St Patrick’s Day (I get two boxes a year, you see…) and guess what ? Same problem : Hédiard’s pâtes de fruit have lost their magic. I’ll have to find another supplier.

  • gingerpale

    I wonder if a good substitute for the Hediard fruit jellies was ever found–? They were so good! I had them once–1998?

  • Your papounet

    Thank you for your concern, gingerpale. Let me put your mind at ease : a GOOD substitute has indeed been found ! Thanks to my other daughter Céline, who now lives in Lyon (a.k.a. Lyons…). The supplier is Sève, at Les Halles de Lyon, cours Lafayette, 69003 LYON (he is also, and foremost, a “maître chocolatier”, and God knows he deserves that distinction, his chocolates are fantastic). The pâtes de fruit are small cubes, 2 centimeters on the side, a perfect shape and size for a mouthful (I have never nibbled a pâte de fruits in my life, goes against nature). They are just moist as they should be, with the correct layer of sugar. Some of them are bi-flavoured, two half-cubes stuck together, an added twist to the enjoyment !

  • gingerpale

    Ah, I have found the website, (www.chocolat-seve.com) so I will be able to contact them directly.
    I too let the sugar dissolve, wait until they are slick, then chew!
    I appreciate your response, sir, I thank you, and both daughters!

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