December 17, 2014

Chocolate Tour on Paris' right bank

I have been on two chocolate tours already but this one beat both of them. This enjoyable walk in the area of the elegant Palais Royal and rue St Honoré, took us to a selection of high quality ‘chocolatiers’ to taste some examples of superb Parisian chocolate. I finally got to understand every step of the making of chocolate beginning with the cocoa pod, a process the other two tours somehow had not managed to explain.

We discovered the history of chocolate, how it came to France, how people have enjoyed it through the ages here, and how Paris is now the capital of dark chocolate, supposedly! We tasted 90% dark chocolate that was so bitter we all pulled strange faces. It tasted awful. I never thought I'd say that about chocolate!

With the French flair for food of subtle flavours and beautiful presentation, Paris is now the home of some of the most inventive and creative master ‘chocolatiers’. Although I cannot warm up to the idea of salted butter caramel chocolate that the French seem so crazy about lately. I also wonder how all the maisons de chocolatier survive. There seems to be one on every corner in this city.

The tour mixed history and lively anecdotes with chocolate tasting and we learned how to select, appreciate and enjoy quality chocolate, that is, to let the brown delicacy melt between our tongue and palate savouring it rather than biting into it.

Some of my fellow explorers gave up tasting half way though the morning but, honestly, I could have gone on all day!

A macaron hamburger

Chocolate ganache pies and Chocolate brownies

Indulging in chocolate delicacies in the Jardins du Palais Royal

1936 is a good year!

Broading our tastebuds

Florentine, my favourite

Glitter chocolate

Real Cocoa beans

So much choice, but only one budget.

A real French hot chocolate!

In England, we call it toffee.

Scrumptious teacakes

Macarons, macarons and more macarons!

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