For those who know me, you’ll know that I have a major sweet tooth. I LOVE sweets. It’s not something that I indulge in on a daily basis, because lets face it, I don’t want diabetes this early in life haha…I think it’s because this I have a heightened appreciation for all things sweet (or probably just carbs, in general).
Paris is food lovers paradise. At every corner, you are presented with endless options of boulangeries, patisseries, brasseries, cafés, creperies…etc. And then, there are the chocolatiers. These people dedicate themselves to making only chocolate. My heroes.
The chocolate sold at these places are different than what you get at Godiva or Lindt. The chocolate here is hand-made, hand-carved, hand-whatever. After having tasted my first artisanal chocolate from Debauve & Gallais (and of course a 1.5 hour lecture from the owner on how French chocolate is better), I don’t think I can ever go back to my old ways of Godiva.
Located on 30 Rue de St Pères, this shop is the oldest chocolate shop in Paris. They used to supply to the royal family. Every little piece of chocolate you see in that shop, is hand-made. The owner did tell us during a class lecture about its intricate process, which I didn’t actually pay attention to since he had brought a box of chocolate for the class…and it was sitting right in front of me. When I took a bite out of the chocolate, I immediately felt the creaminess of the chocolate. It had the density of butter that kind of just melts the second it comes into contact with your mouth’s high temperature. Eating and choosing chocolate has never been the same after that.
Since then, I’ve decided that I would visit other well-known chocolatiers in Paris. First stop was Jean-Paul Hevin. The chocolat chaud “melange JPH” could easily be one of the best hot chocolates you’ve ever tasted. It was the first time I had tasted pure chocolate chocolat chaud. Most people use powder, or add a lot of milk and sugar to make hot chocolate. But one sip, I knew it was chocolate. The subtle bitterness was there, and it wasn’t too sweet that you would get sick of it.
Then I visited Jacques Genin‘s address in the Marais where there is a salon de thé. The shop is extremely spacious and modern looking. All the chocolates are beautifully presented behind the glass. The fruit patés also looked quite delicious. And of course, there is a line for those who are interested in buying chocolate. Once a waiter is available, they come up to you themselves and help you.
I wanted to sit at their salon de thé for a nice cup of hot chocolate. I had just walked around the Marais area and was in need of a snack.
The hot chocolate also came with three complimentary chocolates. Jack pot! (Picture above) I went with the chocolat chaud tradition. I was surprised that I got an entire pot to myself, and glad that was the only thing I ordered (Jacques Genin is also known for making great Paris-Brest and Millefeuille, but had decided to dedicate himself to making chocolates and caramels. These other pastries are only offered if you choose to sit at the salon de thé and cannot be ordered to take-away).
Definitely thicker than the hot chocolate from JPH. For it to have such high consistency, they must’ve used a lot of chocolate. That’s why I was pretty surprised that it came in such a big pot. Thick and creamy, and soooo gooood. But I have to be honest, it was too much for me after my second cup…simply because the pot was tooo big, not because the drink was bad.
NB: Just near this place 134 Rue du Turenne is 134rdt. Home to award winning baguette and croissant! Go check it out 😉
Another place that I had recently visited is Jean-Charles Rochoux. He has one teeny tiny petite shop on 16 rue d’Assas in the 6th arrondissement. This place is amazing. He is known for all his hand-carved chocolate figures, done with extreme detail. Though so expensive to buy and too pretty to eat. His small chocolates on display are delicious and, melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I love that buttery sensation in my mouth. Also his hazelnut praline paste is amazing and out of this world. It’s good when spread on bread, but better when you just scoop up a spoonful right out of the jar and eat it!
There are still a couple other chocolatiers I plan to visit, so stay tuned for more updates all you chocolate lovers 🙂