Pimandes: Chocolate Covered Almonds with Chile
I don’t know where they get these, and I don’t really care. But if you stop in da rosa and don’t pick up a bag of them, you’re making a terrible mistake. These little dusty ovals of chocolate enrobe a Marcona almond tucked in the middle and there’s just a touch for the smoky taste of pimente d’Espelette, the bright-red Basque chili powder that I like to sprinkle over everything from pumpkin purée to chocolate-peanut bark. Once I open the bag of Pimandes, it’s assured that the rest will soon be history.
To be honest, I wanted to show you the inside of one. Really I did.
But each time I took a bite and grabbed my camera, I couldn’t help myself and popped the other half in my mouth. I don’t know how I’m going to explain to the guys at the camera shop how I got cocoa powder in the focusing ring of my lens. Maybe it’ll be like how I explain to my cleaners why there’s raspberry purée…or lately…bits of sticky caramel on my sheets.
If you do stop in at da rosa, if you don’t get a little sac of the raisins plumped in Sauternes that are dipped in dark chocolate as well, you’re also missing out on one of the world’s great taste-treats. I’d like to describe them better than Dorie Greenspan, but I think she nailed it when she said, “I’d call them Raisinets, but they’re in their own universe of wonderfulness.”
While I’m singing the praises of their chocolate selection, while in the shop, check out their selection of rare chocolates from Amedei, the tins of salted butter caramels from Brittany, and a shelf piled high with all sorts of marmalades and fruity jams from Christine Ferber.
Aside from the terrific selection of acorn-fed Spanish hams (they had four different ones to taste last time I was in there), you can stop by for a glass of sherry or rosé on a sunny afternoon, and let them make you a dégustation from their simple menu. I can’t imagine a better way to while away an afternoon than sitting on their terrace and stuffing my craw with fruity lucques olives, thin slices of lean and nutty lomo, and finishing it all with a little dish of piquant chocolate-dipped almonds.
Okay, and maybe a handful of those raisins too.
In fact, I think I’ll stop in tomorrow since I’ve just about reached the bottom of the bowl. The weather’s been pretty decent…and I need to replenish my stock of Pimandes.
But I’m leaving my camera at home. (Or in the shop.)
62, rue de Seine (6th)
Tél: 01 40 51 00 09