Paris is the capital of dark chocolate! Recently we were lucky enough to go on a Paris chocolate tour. In order for the stuff to be labeled chocolate in France it has to have 70% or more cocao content. (Hershey kisses only have 7%!) I love milk chocolate,( only 30% cocao plus milk solids) especially when studded with noisettes (hazelnuts) but hey, who is tuning down chocolate of any kind? The Chocolate Tour, sponsored by Paris Walks, a wonderful tour company owned by Peter and Oriel Crane (also have London Walks) began at the Louvre Rivoli Metro Station. The station sign is one of the oldest Metro Signs in Paris-note the beautiful calligraphy.
Our lovely English and French speaking guide, Mary Ellen Manny, while relating the fascinating history of the production of chocolate, led us to 4 famous Parisian chocolate shops, each of which welcomed our group and provided samples. Cost of this tour was €27 (Euros.) Côte de France was my favorite shop because they had these adorable miniature chocolate sheep, pigs, rabbits, ducks and eggs filled with praline that you could mix and match to create the perfect Easter candy gift box. But oh, wait, the Gosselin Boulangerie’s specialty was chocolate genoise (sponge cake) filled with coffee crème and dusted with Baker’s Gold (96% pure gold mixed with silver and edible.) was pretty good too. Petite Cluizel’s single origin (all the cacao beans are from one plantation) non blended Madagascar chocolate was pure heaven and then the 3 orange ganache at Jean Paul Hévin was divine. I guess I really didn’t have a favorite chocolate shop. The tour lasted over 2 and a half hours and was a delightful way to see more of Paris, including the famous Garden Palais Royale, learn about chocolate making, and of course indulge! J’adore le chocolat!
Here’s a slide show with some of what we saw.