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Why Visit Paris? For The Chocolate, Of Course

cafepetitgateau

There are many different reasons people fall in love with Paris: the art and culture; the beauty and history; the fashion and femme fatales. Moi? I can think of no bigger, better, more divine seductress than the chocolate.

Cocoa is the food of the gods, and the French unabashedly worship at its altar. For nearly four centuries, they’ve been evolving the humble brown cacao seed into something decadent, transporting and otherworldly. You can get chocolate in liquid, molten or frozen form. Sculpted into a stiletto—or a squirrel.

As a single-origin bar (tablette) or a decadent box (un ballotin) of many splendored flavors. In fact, in Paris you can toss a truffle in nearly any direction and hit a chocolatier. But don’t leave it to fate. Get yourself to any of these 11 chocolatiers for an unforgettable Parisian experience.

vincen-t & yuichi sakuraga

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 13 Comments »

Puerto Cacao: Socially Minded Chocolate in Paris

Julien Hausherr

Yes, more chocolate! Paris does not lack for it. But in a town that boasts everything from over-the-top delicacies to perfectly executed classics, we’re always impressed when a shop manages to distinguish itself from the cacao-hawking competition.

Puerto Cacao is not the most decadent, shocking or renowned chocolate shop in Paris, but it might just be the most conscientious. On a recent visit, we sat down with store manager José Evrard to learn more about owner Guillaume Hermitte’s vision for an équitable (fair-trade) chocolate shop that does as much to promote social good as it does to promote deliciousness.

Amazing hot chocolate! Tory Hoen

Hermitte’s team works directly with Venezuelan cacao producers, cutting out unnecessary middlemen who might drive up prices for consumers and deprive cacao producers of fair payment. In addition, they work with “entreprises d’insertion,” organizations that help people who have encountered various difficulties (poverty, imprisonment, etc.) re-enter the workforce and improve their lives. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

Following the Chocolate in Paris

picture-51photos courtesy of laduree.fr & chocolatezoom.com

There are many ways to experience Paris, but one of the more decadent ones is, simply, to follow the chocolate. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing just that when I tagged along on Context Tour’s “Chocolate Walk,” a chocoholic’s dream that took me to many of the Left Bank’s most delicious (and gastronomically prestigious) addresses.

We began the tour in front of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church, where our docent, Camille Labro, pulled an actual cocoa pod (which she had recently brought from Brazil) out of her handbag and gave us a quick rundown on the plant’s important role in world history.  Over the next few hours, we would learn the ins-and-outs of chocolate production and consumption, from its historical roots in South America to its modern incarnations in Paris and throughout the world. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Tours and Classes | 10 Comments »