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World's Strangest Candy
Paris: Gold bars, big bears
What it is: No surprise, the French can make your classic chocolate bar feel like the sugar equivalent of a gray sweatshirt. Consider Patrick Roger, a chocolatier who has won acclaim for his exotic flavor combinations as well as his over-the-top presentations (one of his most popular bonbon boxes is three feet long). His latest: a praline made to look like a rough-hewn gold bar (a pricey $40 a box—but a solid value compared to actual gold).
How it tastes: A far cry from the pralines you find in American Tex-Mex restaurants, these bars are a melty, slightly crunchy combination of crushed nuts, cocoa butter, and chocolate, and coated with a sheet of 24-carat gold.
Where to get it: Patrick Roger has four boutiques, including one on Blvd. St.-Germain. Even if you don’t buy a chocolate, it’s worth the trip to check out his outrageous chocolate sculptures on display, from life-sized penguins and dark-chocolate black bears to French president Nicholas Sarkozy. The bears are currently on sale for anywhere from $13,000 to $65,000.