All Sweets and All Bakeries Are Not Equal: Find the Best Chocolates to Buy in Paris Here
Paris, a place that displays the elegant beauty of open expression throughout its culture of fine cuisine. Known for its highly sophisticated level of complexity in the preparation process. Some delicacies take a few hours and some a couple weeks, but one thing is for sure, no one does chocolate quite like the French do in Paris.
Whether you are looking for rich, creamy, and exquisite or drizzled, dipped, and chunked, if you are talking chocolate, then it is hard to bring up without mentioning Paris. From accenting sweet pastries to being the main ingredient of numerous dessert dishes often highlighted on menus. No matter how you love to consume it, we are here to provide you with some of the best places to get chocolate in Paris. First, let’s look at what makes good chocolate—good.
Are You Eating Quality Chocolate? Here’s How to Tell.
If you are wandering the streets of Paris in search of premium quality chocolate, then there are a few things to consider when quality comes to mind. Let’s be clear, that in more cases than not, your budget and personal taste preference will make a big difference when choosing quality sweets. It’s certainly not unheard of to pay upwards of $20+ per pound of quality grade edible cocoa, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find an equally good tasting one for much less. The percent of cocoa is something to take note in as too much creates a somewhat bitter taste.
I know that this was not a definite answer, and honestly what is great to another may not be favored by others similar to selecting a favorite wine. A friend may prefer a Riesling, while you enjoy a nice bold red. The tiring part is constantly having people look at me weird when they hear my response to, “What is the best chocolate I can buy?” There are brands that sit at the top of the chain and are considered of the highest quality. Obviously, their price tags will accommodate their boasted reputation. So is there a way to tell if your chocolate is high quality?What makes chocolate good?
While your personal tastes may play a part in whether or not you like something, there are other methods to testing the quality of chocolates, for instance; the texture should be very smooth with an extremely glossy finish. Treats that have started to develop white patches for instance when poorly preserved milk chocolate starts to go bad. The lack of fine ingredients with a smooth finish will cause the chocolates to appear splotchy. Here are some key bullet points to hit on when making your selection:
- Texture: it should have a smooth consistency all the way through. Grainy chocolate is often made using sub-par ingredients.
- Sound: premium chocolate makes a crisp snapping sound when broken. The edges are sharp and clean. Low-quality chocolate often has a very weak and soft break and crumbles or bends during breaking.
- Appearance: there will be a clean, glossy surface free of scratches and other blemishes. Cloudy or discoloring can mean that it is either old or has been exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Aroma: the good stuff smells well—good. Lightly rub a section to warm the area and then give a sniff. If it smells like anything other than chocolate, then there is not enough cocoa present, and more than likely the bars contains a lot of filler.
- Taste: it’s going to be pretty hard to tell if it is good unless you give a nibble. The flavor will tell you a lot. Does it immediately start to melt into a creamy, velvety mouthful of sensational greatness? Is it smooth or does it have a gritty or sandy feel? Overall it’s your taste buds that will be the deciding factor.
Supermarkets v.s. Paris Chocolatiers
Right off the bat, there is really no comparison. Hands down, the “stuff” bought in regular stores will have no chance of coming close to the quality of what you find in a shop crafted by real artisans. Authentic confectioners that believe in the ethical practices of nonlabor intensive (child/slave) sources of pure, raw cocoa. You can save lots of money by purchasing store-bought sweet treats, but when it comes to quality, nothing—absolutely nothing compares to the masterful flavors of handcrafted artisanal sweets.
When you travel to the grocery store, the teller will not be able to tell you anything about a magnitude of the products carried. However, when you visit a specialty store in the city, everything from the source it was procured from to the levels used in each variety, and the flavor profile each provenance supplied blend provides. Cocoa has a range of complexities and knowing the region and provenance details help make decisions on purchasing your favorites tastes. These are great French food souvenirs from Paris from shops to bring home from travel to share with family and friends.
Pairing Your Chocolate Treats
Similar to cheese, these brown bars actually pair very nicely with vineyard-friendly beverages. Wines and chocolate are like peas in pods. They just go together. Which is why you can find some very good pairings at local tastings. When looking at where to buy wine in Paris, they often have great selections that fit different budgets.
Now that you have the basics, let’s check out some favorites:
- Salon du Chocolat
This dessert-bearing venue is a world-class event that takes place a few times a year at different locations. If you are looking to indulge cravings with top-notch, premium treats, then the Salon du Chocolat is the place. Starting the last weekend in October of 2018 and lasting five days. Master chefs, pastry experts, and culinary masters from around the globe attend to show off their skills and exceptional quality at the Paris, Porte de Versailles.
When it comes to all things cocoa inspired, this event features over 500 participants, nearly 200 of those being chefs and pastry experts, spanning from over 60 different countries. No other events on the planet compared to the prestigious intensity placed on the smooth and creamy unique sweets from this event. Only the best of the best pastries and sweets will be found here.
- Michel Chaudun
We can talk about chocolate and even cakes and cookies like macaroons, but when it comes to people who make sweet treats sing in Paris; without a doubt, Michel Chaudun comes to mind. A true architectural chocolatiering maestro and mastermind behind La Maison du Chocolat. Michel holds the unique ability to sculpt sweets into lifelike objects and pretty much anything else him or anyone else can imagine. His dessert molding artistry knows no bounds. You can enjoy some of his incredible sculptures at 149 Rue de l'Université. There you can see a chocolate version of the Eiffel tower, miniature cars, buildings, and so many other delectable goodies.
- Jean Paul Hévin
If you are in Paris and on the hunt for some sweet pastries with a bit of class, dash of love, and sprinkle of high quality confection, then you are looking to head to the Rue St Honoré fashion district, where you will find renowned chocolatier & artisan, Jean Paul Hévin boutique, fully equipped with an upstairs tearoom. Hévin is mainly known for his interesting use of Asian-inspired ingredients to create unmatched flavor profiles. His macaroons will send you over the edge. They are to die for, not to mention his hot cocoa that will literally make you never want to leave Paris.
- Cocoa Iconoclast by Patrick Roger
When it comes to chocolatiers in Paris, this guy is famous for his delectable confectioneries of goodness, and you can find his main store in the heart of the St. Germain neighborhood. His notations come in with his delicious rochers made with praline filling and hazelnut flakes. His interesting mixture of using dark chocolate complemented by flavors like lime or spicy pepper play ode to his whimsical and playful nature. He also has had success with edible sculpting. Stop by and see some of his amazingly tasty pieces of edible food art.
We travel to the chic streets of St. Germain & Rue du Bac in Paris, to one of many well-known sweet treat maestros Patrice Chapon's shop, where the business really goes down. There are so many types of flavors that you'll want to come back and try your hand at different tones of the bittersweet treat. If you stop by Chapon, you can not go without sampling all the bars!
- Pierre Hermé
It is true; no one does not like Pierre Hermé. From soft, delicate pastries to fluffy cakes to macaroons, are crafted by this chocolatier. With the use of pralines, balsamic vinegar, and ganaches with orange, Pierre has been able to produce some of the most interesting flavor profiles around the world. There are a couple of locations in Paris. You can find this shop at the center of St. Germain des Pres district nestled near the shops on Rue Bonaparte. Stop in and sample elegance.
The Best French Chocolates
Whether you are planning your road and traveling to the city, you'll want to know what type of business you are looking for. When you only want the best chocolate food and desserts, you travel to the shops of Paris.
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