Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pate de Fruit

Several of the people I interviewed for the tea and sweets article (I'm not linking it anymore... By now you've read it or you're not going to read it!) lauded pate de fruit as an overlooked/lost treasure of the tea pairing world. I'd never actually tried it before, so before I heard the recommendations, I thought of it as nothing more than glorified gummy bears. The conviction behind endorsements from people like James Norwood Pratt made me very curious about them, though, and I was lucky enough to have Charles Chocolates send me some samples!

Chuck Seigel of Charles Chocolates warned me that two of the flavors, Blood Orange and Passion Fruit, are too acidic to pair with tea. He was right -- they would have overpowered even a strong tea. (Perhaps they could pair with an intense fruit tea? But I can't see that being very interesting...) At any rate, they were good on their own, but the others were wonderful with tea. The White Peach was airy and floral, perfect for a first flush Darjeeling or a slightly astringent Japanese green tea. The Papaya was mellow but tropical, sweet, complex and lingering. I'd love to pair it with a chocolaty pu-erh, second flush Darjeeling, strong Keemun or mellow Ceylon. The Raspberry was refreshing and full of flavor, but not too tart -- ideal for Assam or Sri Lankan black teas or vegetal/astringent greens. Yum! I really hope the idea of pairing teas and pate de fruit catches on again in the near future! I'd love to be able to go into a tearoom and get these with my tea.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I've never heard of this. Very interesting!