I was invited to join the Meeting The French Gourmet chocolate walking tour. Two hours of tasting the best chocolates on the Right bank at 5 different shops in a close vicinity of Metro Concorde (our meetup point). First stop Angelina on rue de Rivoli, with their decadent African chocolat chaud/hot chocolate...
So we can walk, sip and explore further...
Second stop around the corner on rue Cambon is reknown patisserie Pierre Herme...
But Herme's chocolates should never be overlooked. They are superb and his small tasting box for 10 euros is one of the best deals in town IMHO (the price never seems to rise).
As Paul A. Young in London said,
'Buy smaller boxes, more often'.
Don't miss for the nice big chocolate map showing all the flavors lurking behind the counter...
Third stop Jean-Paul Hevin on 231, rue Saint-Honore
We taste chocolates at each stop - our guide advises us on the endless array of flavours and textures.
Fourth stop: Michel Cluizel, where a crowd is leche-vitrine/doing heavy window browsing at 201, rue Saint-Honore
Again choosing would be next to impossible without our guide's experience to depend upon...
What would you choose?
We waltz from chocolate shop to chocolate shop learning Parisien secrets.
Where to get an excellent glass of wine (Le Rubis), which oysters to eat in October(I forget..they begin with a G), what church to pop into for a moment of serene respite from intensive chocolate tasting (St-Eustache on rue St-Honore). Plus a full history of chocolate, the best beans and where they come from. The tastebuds, the feet and the brain are getting a workout.
Last stop is the newish Hugo & Victor. The chocolate concept is seasonally based on wines + accompanying natural flavors.
The Indian Summer chocolate flavor (Almond) available only in September-October comes packed in Moleskine-like boxes. I fell victim
Their towers of macarons are irresistable.
I polished off the last of this pack today. This week's PB posts has been deleterious to my diet.
I also got a figue religieuse at H&V.
Fortunately Fr Girl assisted at the tasteoff that night - by then, post chocolate walk, I could barely take a bite. Meeting the French does a Left Bank chocolate tour and has a new Christmas gourmet tour onboard. I'd love to try it but not this week. I'm in recovery from pastry raids in my fridge :)