Les Bonbons — Trying Traditional French Candies

Trick or treat, trick or treat, give me something good to eat! The days after Halloween are all about enjoying candy! But before you get to your candy, don’t forget to get your face squeaky clean from all that Halloween makeup with Bi-Facil and Bi-Facil Face! Once that’s out of the way you can move on to attacking all those sweets you (or your little ones) scored.

Paris Rendezvous

While going around door to door and trick or treating is not yet common in Paris (perhaps in the suburbs) it doesn’t mean the French do not enjoy their fair share of candy this time of year, or any other time for that matter. Have you seen our adorable candy stands around town with their pink striped bags? Mais oui!

While I do love good old American candy (hello peanut butter cups!), some people say “the French do it better!” and when it comes to candies, well…that might be true. They certainly have been at it for a long time. Most of our traditional candies here date back hundreds of years and are tied to beautiful places across the country. I thought Halloween would be a fun time to teach you a bit about some of my favorites. I hope you get to taste some of these soon and decide for yourself if the French really do do it better!

Les Calissons d’Aix — These delicious candies from the south of France are my personal favorite! While they come from Aix en Provence originating in the 15th century, they are easy to find all over France nowadays. They come in a tear drop shape and are made from various types of fruit paste ground together with almond marzipan. This delicious filling is sandwiched between a hard coat of icing on the top, and a chewy breaded bottom for a mix of sweet textures. Temptation to create hypnotic lips!

Le Nougat de Montélimar — This 300 year old candy recipe originating from central France includes almond, honey, milk, sugar, and egg whites. The ingredients are beaten and baked together in a short brick that is then cute into easily edible squares. The texture is chewy with a bit of crunch from the almonds inside. I prefer them plain but you can find them in many fruit and floral flavours as well as chocolate…yum!

La Violette de Toulouse — Hailing from the city of Toulouse in the southwest of France, La Voilette de Toulouse is named after the official flower of the city, violets - with whom they share their color, shape, and flavor. They’ve been around since the 1800’s. If you are a fan of floral tastes in your sweets you’ll love these crystallised flowers!

Les Bêtises de Cambrai — These candies look like a small pillow with a stripe of caramelised sugar running through their center and come in common flavours like apple, lemon, and more. They come from the city of Cambrai in the north of France and were invented in the 19th century when a local pastry chef made a mistake with one of his recipes. He decided to try to sell the candies anyhow and called them bêtises, which means mistake in French. They turned out to be a big hit and are still around today.

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