Servane Guérin is the friendly and very sweet owner of one of my favorite little shops in the Marais, France Ma Douce . In it, she stocks specialty products that she procures in her frequent travels around the many regions of France.
From bath and body, to fragrance, candies and caramels to kitchen accessories and tableware, the selection is top shelf and the shop --steps away from Mariage Frères-- is cozy and inviting and offers plenty of lovely choices, whether you are gift shopping or looking to pick something artisanal and trés French for yourself.
Among the many little gems she sells at her 7, rue du Bourg-Tibourg shop are these amazing caramels made with salted butter and Fleur de Sel de Guérande from Brittany. We love them so much that a trip to Paris would not be complete without a stop for these.
Chewy, intensely buttery, with a beautiful bright caramel color, loaded with caramelly saltiness and plenty of delicious salt crystals to twirl around in your mouth until they dissolve away. They come in a tin that doubles as a coin bank, with the cutest of labels.
Even at 8 Euros each, we suggest you take home more than one tin because you are bound to devour them before reaching US customs.
They do make great gifts (she carefully wraps everything for you) and are not at all heavy to schlep back home.
But I am telling you, once you try the first one you'll be scrambling around at the Duty free shop for substitute gifts because it will be too hard to part with these babies.
This we've learned first hand and we'll never tell who got the Fauchon jam instead. ;-)
Hoard as many as you possibly can.