Friday, November 04, 2011

The French Chocolate Tour

I was invited to join the Meeting The French Gourmet chocolate walking tour for 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 Hermé.

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).

'Buy smaller boxes, more often'.
Don't miss for the nice big chocolate map displaying 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 Saint-Honore). Plus a full history of chocolate, the best beans and where they come from. Our tastebuds, feet and brain are getting a workout.

 Last stop the new 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 irrésistible.

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 with the tasteoff that night - by then, post walk, I could barely take a bite. I'd love to try it but not this week. I'm in recovery from pastry raids  in my fridge :)


  1. A Parisian chocolat chaud. What I wouldn't give to have one right now (in Paris...)

  2. How was the figue religieuse?

  3. Hot chocolate served in paper cups "a la New York city?" -- Paris has changed a lot ! ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  4. 'Emporter'/takeaway has been around for a few years in Paris.
    There are many shocks in store for you Bienvenue Chez Fr Girl.

  5. I know, I know. I go back every year ;-) In fact, I remember eating in the street during my lunch break back in the 1980s: Our favorite "to go food" was a ham and cheese crepe while we indulged in "window licking." -- Veronique ;-)

  6. Merci beaucoup for this! I pen an annual chocoloate awards column and I am sure some of these great chocolatiers willbe present once again!

  7. I hope you realize that I will not be able to visit Paris with less than 2 years' notice. It will take me that long to review all your tips and tricks - including visiting all the little side alleys you include- and to get my itinerary in order for the trip.

  8. I just fi usher an Au Bon Pain chocolate eclair here at Dallas airport. Appropriate, oui? I'm about chocolated out now...xo

  9. Ps
    Croissant, I meant...not eclair! Sorry!

  10. This does bring back memories of the Chocolate and Pastry tour I took there only a couple years ago. How fun! I just loved it. Now I want to go back and do it for myself again.

  11. Colleen2:24 PM

    Oh Thank you for this amazing post. This is going on my list of must do's the next time I am in my favorite city! Tres Magnifique!

  12. Cindy Rieth3:52 PM

    Carol, I received a surlatable catalog today and they have macaron Christmas ornaments! Thought you'd like to know...

  13. I've been trying to plan which shops to visit for a chocolate and pastry tasting for our next year's visit but I think you've just solved the problem for me. This tour sounds perfect.

  14. Boy, that post made me hungry!
    Photo after photo of World Class chocolates - torture, Carol!
    Have a great weekend.

  15. Just think of all the happy endorphins you are getting eating and smelling all that chocolate. :))

  16. I'll gladly take a tube of macarons!

  17. Great post! Gillardeau ouders perhaps?

  18. Gillardeau oysters exactly Evie!

    I couldn't find my notes..

  19. That tour looks fabulous. I did a meeting the french at work tour of a bakery last year. It was fantastic. Great to see a working french bakery. And learn their traditions. I actually gasped when I saw that figue religieuse! That looks sensational.

  20. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Angelina is a tasty place!
    A little too stuffy and pricey for me to visit regularly (I prefer the cheap, smoky, little sidewalk cafes) but the chocolat chaud was delicious.

  21. Tu profites de nos desserts ,j'ai bien profité de ceux de ta ville.




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