Now that my stash is nearly all gone and I have had time to reflect and compare all the different chocolate from each chocolatier, it’s time to share my overall impressions(since I can’t share the chocolate). There is no way that I can chose a favorite chocolate shop because the good ones were so good in their own way.
I loved La Maison du Chocolat for it’s quality, simplicity and purity. I loved Pierre Marcolini for his ability to surprise me by layering flavors and textures in his bon bons. I loved Patric Roger for his boldness and authenticity-everything I had of his exploded with flavor in my mouth.
There were some surprise winners among the stash that I brought home. I had absentmindedly picked up a couple of bars and some marron glace (candied chestnuts) at Debauve and Galais not expecting too much since my experience in their New York shop had underwhelmed me. Their milk chocolate and sesame bar, however was probably one of the best milk chocolate bars I’ve ever tasted; so simple with just a hint of crunchy sesame. The marron glace too were a revelation- sweet, creamy, and unbelievably delicate in flavor and texture.
And the winner of the best drinking chocolate is….Jacques Genin.
Oh my God! It was so good!
Three things I learned:
1. Chocolate tastes better in Paris(I’ve been to some of these chocolatiers in their New York shops, but they weren’t as good). Which leads me to my second point:
2. Freshness is key, so always buy one piece to try before buying a whole box.
3. Just because you walk off all the calories you consume in Paris doesn’t mean you’ll do the same when you get back home. So the best way to keep off the weight when you return from a chocolate tour is to hit the gym big time, or to share your spoils-which is the best way to enjoy chocolate anyway.