May 2, 2012

Parisian Chocolate tour

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
Katharine Hepburn

I fell in love immediately with our tour guide. Not only did she greet us with a pain au chocolat from "Erik Kayser" but she also quoted the Swiss as the top chocolate devourers in the world. Did you know that each Swiss inhabitant eats over 11 kilos of the sweet indulgence every year!!!! Before the Brits, the Belgian and way before the French who muster roughly 4 kilos/inhabitant per year.

Since I have arrived in Paris I have been wondering how all the chocolatiers survive in this city. You'll find one on every block in the center of Paris. I therefore took myself on a chocolate tour to discover what differentiates each one of them. Tough life, I know!

I discovered that each maitre does have his speciality. The "Choux Pistache", a ginger and lime cream craquant, the “Calin Fondant”, a chocolate-covered almond flour crisps with Tahitian vanilla and caramel or "Abeilles", a honey ganache enhanced with a touch of pure honey, just to name a few. I saw with my own eyes that French and tourists alike buy chocolate bars for 6 Euros and boxes of chocolates for over 35 Euros. I guess my Lindt chocolate bar from Coop would not cut the deal. Hmmm?!

We tasted two different chocolates in every boutique we visited and enjoyed a scrumptious hot chocolate at "un dimanche à Paris" (worth trying on a cold morning when strolling through the Quartier Latin!) and went home with a delicious doggy bag, if I dare call it that!

Personally, even after this tour , I still would never venture in one of the chocolaters havens to spend a fortune on 100gr of chocolate because I eat too much of this delicious treat every day. But I will recognize each and every praline in the box next time I receive it as a gift! ;)

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