27 Jul 2009

Le Bonbon… Le Carambar


There is a little sweet something that I love about France……it is called the Carambar.

A chewy, caramel tasting sweet that is totally delicious. Carambars are not soft and they are not hard, they fall somewhere in the middle with a smooth texture that can melt slowly in the mouth or can be gobbled up with a couple of greedy bites. They do come in other flavours – lemon, orange raspberry and strawberry – but as far as my taste buds are concerned they are not a patch on the original.

The Carambar is to France what the Fantale is to Australia or the Hershey Bar is to the United States. At the risk of inciting a heated debate, I think the carambar wins hands down. Along with the champagne, truffle and fois gras gastronomiquefeasts that France can offer in abundance, please don’t forget to sample the delights of the humble Carambar.

I defy you to stop at one…I can’t, xv.

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75 Comments

Andi

I love Carambar – became quickly addicted to them when I was living in France. Closest thing I could ever find in the U.S. was a Sugar Daddy/Baby.

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FrenchBlue

YUmmmmm Vicki! I love this post! I will be searching these down. I love how you describe the details of this little French treat~
xx's

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Millie

Oh there's something about caramel Vicki – it's colour, it's texture & of course IT'S AMAZING TASTE! I snuck off to the movies late Friday arvo to see a beaut little Aussie film 'My Year Without Sex' & what should I find in the Candy Bar but a new Dark Chocolate Kit-Kat – so I bought 2 & sat up the back & totally pigged out! Your Carabar sounds divine, a much more elegant version of the old Fantales (which have recently shrunk to half their original size!)
Millie ^_^

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Simply Mel

No debate needed, I agree France reigns supreme on almost all subjects, indulgences, and culinary offerings. And yes, I'm jealous of you, very jealous! :)

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Diane Dorrans Saeks

Hello, Vicki-

Happy to see you are a connoisseur of candies.
You are right. French traditional candies have much more flavor, and taste of sugar and natural flavors, not artificial anything.They are the best: when I am in Paris next I will look for the Carambar. There are several sweet shops in Paris that specialise in old-fashioned candies.

In Arles recently, just off the main square, I found an old-fashioned candy shop/patisserie that had the most brilliant hard candies, long roll-shaped, fruit flavors. I wish I had purchased more. So delicious–takes you back to childhood.Seemed hand-crafted.
Happy days, http://www.thestylewsaloniste.com

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sallymandy

Yum, delicious. I'd have to eat a lot of those, and that could be bad.

I loved your post on ballet slippers. So classic and timeless.

Thanks as always for your tasteful and beautiful posting. xo

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The Pink Poodle

hi vicki….OH well if it is kind of like a FANTALE…I am a fan!

does it have a question like the old fantale wrappers?? (not sure if they still do that myself)…

sounds yummy scrumptious…

I have been watching the TOUR DE FRANCE on SBS…BOY the weather looks awesome over your way…
(bit sick of the cold weather now here in melbourne..christian loves it thou for the skiing at BULLER!)..

have a lovely week…xx andrea from oz!!!!

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Jacqueline

Thanks for giving us the low down on such a tasty looking sweet meat…. I can't wait 'till I'm next in France to have taste….and I will.Oh, by the way…I gave you an award for being so supportive to me at the beginning of my blogging journey… I'm sure that you will not hold it up as the most magnificent moment in your carreer !!!!! but I just wanted to say thank you.I have just received your book and can't wait to start reading it.Your house and the photogaphic contentlook amazing.
Once again, thank you so much. XXXX

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Magdalena

Well, the other day my friend came back from France and she took those with!
They melt in your mouth, so good.
Hope you will have very nice week.
Best wishes
Magdalena at Color Sepia

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My Castle in Spain

Vicki, you couldn't be more French!!
i munched on these all my childhood..i don't know the Hershey bar or the Fantale but yes, you're right carambar is so so special..
don't they even make ice-cream with it now?

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Francine Gardner

I love Carambar. My kids also got addicted during their yearly summers at their grand parents in France. I also bring some back with me. I remember as a little girl growing up in a small village in France, I would stop daily at the local "Tabac- presse" and buy a carembar for a few centimes…
thanks for bringing back these memories

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Francine Gardner

I love Carambar. My kids also got addicted during their yearly summers at their grand parents in France. I also bring some back with me. I remember as a little girl growing up in a small village in France, I would stop daily at the local "Tabac- presse" and buy a carembar for a few centimes…
thanks for bringing back these memories

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Cynthia

Oh yes, Vicki, you make the Carambar sound so appealing. I love your candy loyalty- though I don't think that the Hershey bar is really the best chocolate..but the name makes you think of the USA. (Chocolate is made better from many places of the world, don't you think?)

Still, I know what you mean about candy and mood. I like Violets-are they from England? The smell and color puts me in another time. We have locally made candy in Puerto Rico, too, one of my favorite is a type of sesame candy…(consequentially, it's in my current post!)

Enjoy you Carambar.<3

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cityfarmer

I've got a sweet tooth right now….

it's so darn hard to balance summer and blogging …I'm out to change that today!!!!

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The Haute-Shopper

Ok, how can I live in France and not have tried this yet? Argh, I'm about to head to my supermarket and I'll definitely check this out. My guy is a bit of a caramel fanatic, so I'm sure he'll thank you as well ;-)

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Alicia

I luv these yummy suckers!!! My aunt first git me addicted after her trip & now I lament often for these chewy delights.
Im such a English? Aussie candy freak. Years overseas as a child ruined me for Hersheys…tooo waxy. American mass market chocolate has too much junk & not the rich amount of cocoa liquor. Thank God for the internet!!! Yup I order confections.

Reply
Zelda

Vikky you forgote to mention the most importent of all about carambar … the "charade"(game) inside the paper ! we use to buy those after school just for the cover , the caramel is so sticky , it was also a good stuff to get ride of baby teeth a bit faster .

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Little Rus

Dear Vicki

I just wanted to say that I've got your book last Saturday and am in love with your writing style, gorgeous images and the way you look at life. I read it little by little every evening and savour every sentense. So glad this beautiful book is a part of my collection. You are wonderful!

x

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la la Lovely

Oh these sound so good…I am going to have to remember these and try them the next time I visit France…..yummy! Love learning about new sweet treats.

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Keith

They sound do yummy. Never had them before, but they look and sound delicious. Thanks for sharing them with us. Cheers!

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Anonymous

As a child, after buying the dayly bread for my family, there was always a difficult choice to make with the few centimes left: should I take a Carambar or a Malabar?
This still remains a Cornelian choice 40 years later…

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Gabrielle

I didn't know that Carambars were french !
Makes me think, I haven't eaten one in YEARS !
I'm gonna have to do something about it…

And now I know I'll have to taste Fantale when I go to Australia

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Nikki

I just had one of these the other day…it nearly pulled a filling out! So pretty a whole lot of them together like that!

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khuck

Not fair! I read this post immediately after reading part of The French Woman series where you instructed us to not snack between mealtimes! What's a woman to do? Maybe candy doesn't count as snacking? Maybe?

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Matilda

MMMMMMM
These french caramels are amazing. My friend brought them back from France and they were gone in a few days.
Do you have any Idea where to get them in Melbourne?

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Vicki

No… I’m sorry I don’t… You can buy them on Amazon… and have them shipped! They would be the most expensive caramels ever though! xv

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