is such serious business in Paris that every year the city hosts the world’s largest event dedicated
to chocolate, where thousands of visitors are tempted by tasty cocoa goods,
live cookery demonstrations and chocolate-themed fashion shows.
travellers who can’t make it to town for this special event (running from 31
October to 4 November), a DIY chocolate tour of the French capital is available
any time of year with a visit to these four revered Paris chocolatiers.
Jacques Genin’s large, sleek boutique in the
Marais district has vast glass-topped counters showcasing the shop’s tiny
square chocolates – all uniform in shape and size apart from a different
coloured squiggle decorating the surface – like jewels in a luxury jeweller.
The infused flavours, such as fresh mint, tonka bean and coffee, punch through
the chocolate with a burst of flavour. You can also sit in the shop’s tearoom
to indulge in Genin’s deliciously thick hot chocolate.
Patrick Roger is a self-dubbed
“chocolate artist” who pays particular attention to the flavour, texture and aesthetics
of his creations in all five of his Paris boutiques. Innovatively flavoured
chocolates sit alongside the classics, all with evocative names: try the Friendship
(almond praline), Amour (nougat centre) and Audacity (quince jelly). The goods
are presented in bold turquoise boxes, making bright, cheerful – and delicious –
La Maison du Chocolat has
been a Paris institution for more than 30 years, with its several branches all decorated
in rich cocoa tones. The luxury chocolatier sells nothing but chocolate made
from superlative cocoa beans -- from Venezuela, Ecuador, the Caribbean, Africa
and Madagascar -- in various guises: ganaches, pralines, tarts, cakes and their
infamous chocolate eclair.
chocolatier Michel Chaudun (149 rue de la Université, 75009; 01-47-53-74-40)
has been in the business for 26 years, making fancy chocolates in the shape of
guitars, footballs, the Eiffel tower and even power drills in his atelier at
the back of his Left Bank shop. He was commissioned by luxury French fashion house Hermès to make
hundreds of small chocolate replicas of their famous Kelly handbag, one of
which is still on display in the shop . You can also purchase boxes of
chocolates filled with Chaudun’s exquisite truffles and ganaches, flavoured
with notes such as pepper, lime, caramel and sherry.
Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.