In the Old Town section of Nice, on the Cote d'Azur, there is a wonderful jewel box of a confectionery shop called L'Art Gourmand. The place features beautiful French confections like an assortment of chocolates au lait, noir, and blanc (milk, dark, and white), marzipan fruits and animals that are well known in southern France, and various cookies and baked goods.
Perhaps one of the most special of the spécialité are the fruit gelées. Made from intense, natural fruit flavors like raspberry, grapefruit, and apricot, these fruits are pureed and mixed with some fruit pectin (a plant-derived gelling agent) and sometimes a bit of sweetener and citric acid to maintain the flavor balance and brightness of color. These jellied strips are rolled in some sugar for crunch, and...voilà! You have a delicious candy that contains all the ripe juiciness of the fruit, in concentrated, delicious, portable form.
Of course for real chocolate lovers (and I count myself firmly among the true chocoholics of the world), chocolate is always in season and always the thing to get. And L'Art Gourmand has a great selection of chocolates and truffles from which to choose. From chocolate-covered nuts and praline-filled chocolate squares to chocolate-dipped candied fruits and peels and cocoa-dusted truffles, there's an almost embarrassing variety of chocolate treats. It's easy to fill up your bag quickly from the offerings on hand.
During the spring, summer, and early fall in this temperate part of the Mediterranean, the crème glacés and sorbets are particularly delicious here. Artisanally-made flavors like a deep, dark chocolate, a delectably tart passion fruit, a toasted nutty pistachio, and an aromatic raspberry-violet are so satisfying that a small cup will do...though you may not be able to resist a larger portion. And when the weather is pleasant and the Nice sky is a cloudless celestial blue, there's nothing more enjoyable than a stroll through the old town with a cup of that glace in hand, taking in the scenery.
21 Rue du Marche'
Vielle Ville de Nice
Nice, France 06300
+33 493 62 5179