We arrived in Paris, and went to three of top chocolate shop choices right away.
First stop: Jean Charles Rochoux. A nice shopkeeper let us sample the Paves, which are cubes of chocolate ganache. Yummy and soft and they reminded me of chocolate in Japan. I think that they were meant for Japanese tourists because a whole group came in to the shop while we were there. Haven’t tried the bon bons yet so I can’t comment on the taste.
Next: Patrice Chapon. This shop has a nice vintage vibe going. The entire back wall is lined with antique chocolate molds and the packaging is very retro also. The sales clerk served us speaking perfect English and offered her recommendations. I bought a box of bon bons, an eiffel tower made of chocolate for my daughter, a fleur de sel bar and their specialty truffles filled with gianduja. I liked that some chocolate were displayed open air, so the shop keeper came out from behind the counter to package items for you. You’re basically surrounded by chocolate. Sorry we forgot our camera attachement so pictures are to follow. Here are some pictures.
Last stop: Michel Chaudun. Another old fashioned chocolate shop. I expected a lot of the shops to be super modern and sleek but they are quite classic both in design and in presentation. This one had lots of artifacts on display. Inside there was a statue of an aztec warrior, cocoa pods, maps of cocoa growing regions and on display in one of the windows; notes and textbooks of the chocolatier’s school days! The chocolate shop was tiny. There were 2 shopkeepers(who also spoke English) and the chocolatier himself popped in briefly. His specialty are the same ganache cubes or paves, which I bought. I also purchsed a dark chocolate bar with roasted almonds and a small bag of bon bons. I was tempted to buy the chocolate sausage but it was 30 euros.
Tasting Impressions. Overall, I liked Chaudun’s ganaches. I thought they tasted very fresh with good, flavorful centers. Angie and I both agreed that Chapon’s ganaches were ultra smooth and the ratio of shell to fillilng was perfect, there was a slight aftertaste not totally pleasant. Not as fresh, perhaps. Later we tried his gianduja and praline truffles that the shop clerk recommended and they were amazing! One of the best things I’ve tried thus far.