Paris Chocolate Tour

We’re mid-week into our Paris Chocolate Tour here and we’re having a great time. Everyone’s enjoying the unusually fine weather, and of course, the chocolate.

I wanted to post a few shots and notes in my spare seven minutes—it’s 5:34am so forgive any typos or missed links. I’ll catch ‘em later…in my free time ; )

Jean-Charles RochouxPassionfruit sorbet

Cheerful, and the amazingly-talented, Jean-Charles Rochoux shows us a chocolate replica of his arm in his laboratory. He made it for a Halloween display at a Parisian department store. The scoop of passionfruit sorbet is from Le Bac à Glaces, an ice cream shop just a few blocks away, where we stopped to cool down.

rochouxchocolateparis

At M. Rochoux’s swanky boutique, his assistant Murielle, packs up a box of chocolate. Check out the sexy glove. Oh la la! I may need even more sorbet to cool down…

If you do stop in, be sure to get a tablet of his chocolate from Peru. This is one of my favorite chocolates in his shop, along with the tablets of caramelized hazelnuts from Piedmont enrobed in chocolate as well as his latest; a bar of chocolate with a unctuous layer of creamy caramel oozing out.

salade parisienne

A light French salad: la salade parisienne. Yes, there is some lettuce tucked under that mountain of ham, but I was more focused on the yummy house-made fries at Le Nemrod that I dove on as soon as they landed. Unfortunately, being the consummate host, I did share a few with my table mates. But not before grabbing all the crispiest specimens. Since my salad was so light, my guests knew I needed the extra nourishment to make it through the afternoon.

Did I mention how light it was? Just checking…

rose

Of course, it’s not lunch in Paris without un peu de rosé. I had a little pitcher, which was just enough to carry me through the afternoon. Well, at least until dinner.

saladnemrod

If the above salad looked too light for you, the salad with soft-cooked egg melting over a huge mound of crispy bacon and studly croutons, may be more suitable to carry someone through a week of tasting chocolates. They also make a letter-perfect croque monsieur (and madame), if you’re in the neighborhood.

truffles

Speaking of chocolate tasting, Corinne over at Patrick Roger organized a tasting of her brother’s fantastic chocolates. I like the feuillentine (which may be one of those aforementioned spelling mistakes), and the rhum raisin, topped by an oversized dried grape.

Speaking of which, why does ‘dried plum’ sound better to people than ‘dried grape’? Just asking. At 5:52am, my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, but my mind thinks of those things anyways.

As usual, all the chocolates were delicious and if I had more time—and more stomach space—we would have tried them all.

stonespatrickrogerchocolate

Patrick Roger has quite the sense of humor, along with a fabulous sense of style. To commemorate the anniversary of the student uprisings in May of 1968, he designed a replica of a paving stone, similar to the ones the students through back in the day during the massive demonstrations. They’re solid praline, enrobed in dark chocolate. Weighing in at 600 grams each, well over a pound, I wouldn’t mind being clocked by one of them. Who wouldn’t?

No one today would protest getting a box of his stunning chocolates. My favorite are the small, round blue caramels, called Cyclone filled with liquor de prunelle, an eau de vie the chocolatier’s mother makes from tiny wild plums.

They’re only available as part of an assortment. So to get them, you need to choose from one of the boxes of chocolates. But if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t protest having to work your way through one of those either, now, would you?

24 comments

  • Oh, If I ever get lucky enough to visit Paris again…I would love to go on your Paris chocolate tour. The hearty salads seem to be the perfect antidote to the sweetness of all that chocolate. Thanks for taking us along on the tour vicariously through your great photos and stories.

  • oh I wanted to do this so badly – I almost signed up for the second session, but alas I just couldn’t swing it – this year! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

  • Your throwaway remarks about what to choose chez M Rochoux show serious dedication to the recommendations you make in your blog

    Love those paving stones;)

    Joanna

  • I want one of those chocolate paving tiles, I wonder if they ship internationally, ha.

  • Looks great David, hope I can get back to Europe again next year!
    When are you coming to New York? We should do lunch?!

  • I agree with the others. I would love to do the chocolate tour with you! It sounds like so much fun.

  • We loved the Nemrod, which we learned about on this site, thank you very much, and are looking forward to being back there in a few weeks and having one of those fabulous salads. But this time, maybe we’ll have to track down some of the chocolate shops as well. I’m making a little list . . .

  • Those May ’68 pavés are cool! In a month that’s choc full of serious and sublime 68isms, such silliness looks really good to me. Not to mention that they’re really pretty.

  • David, is Patrick Roger’s feuilletine available to purchase by itself or does it just come in a box as an assortiment? Will be there this weekend and planning my shopping extravaganza…

  • Threw, I think. Oh those salads! Oh that chocolate! Oh that glove! Oh your spelling! Thank you!

  • Okay…..it’s getting close to lunch time and the pictures of the salads have totally made me go limp with hunger….interesting isn’t it you would think the chocolate would do that but I love those yummy salads and have them every time I am in Paris.

  • Oh my. This is too much to handle in the morning! Just looking at that table’s-worth of chocolate makes me giddy like a little schoolgirl!

  • That’s it, I am ordering my ice cream maker today. I can’t stand to look at another scoop while being helpless to do anything about it. Looks like you are having fun.

  • Do you know if that wild liqueur de prunelle is infused or distilled? ? It sounds sooo good. Like a French slivovic.

  • I’m thinking a new nickname for the salads could be mixed carnage with greens.

  • The chocolate is perfectly lovely, but those salads, ohhh, those salads!

  • For those of you who stop by Patrick Roger, be sure to pick up his homemade jam when it’s in season. The fruit comes from his family’s orchards in the countryside. His apricot jam was the absolute best I’ve ever eaten (and I’m constantly on the look-out for amazing jam).

  • How neat to be able to get a near-contemporaneous report about your days on the tour, even when we readers couldn’t be there to experience it first hand. Thanks for getting up so early.

  • J-C Rochoux’ caramel-filled bar was one of the best things I tasted at the Salon de Chocolat..maybe one of the best things ever…
    And passion fruit sorbet just down the street. How did I ever miss that?
    It all looks so wonderful…

  • There are some fantastic chocolate shops in Paris. A favorite of mine is down from the Eiffel tower. The smell when you go inside the shop is just crazy! The French Pastry shops are fantastic also.

  • “Studly Croutons” is the most compelling phrase I’ve heard in a looong time. As if I need a titillating element to beckon me to the bacon boudoir. A sexy pile of bacon sitting under that silky egg?–I’m only human. And that salad makes chocolate seem positively G-rated.

  • I adore the “sexy glove” as well. I wonder if they can have sexy hairnets, too? Mmmmm. Now I’m motivated to go create new chocolate truffle flavors!

    In addition, I’ll be making ice cream tonight, in honor of David. It’s going to be a great night.

  • Oh, that settles it. In two years I am coming to your chocolate tour. I am marking up my non-existent 2010 calendar with a great big red X. I just need to save up enough ching. I have a friend I need to visit in France anyway. Maybe I will drag her (I’m sure she’ll go kicking and screaming) along.

  • Kristina: Don’t know when the next Paris chocolate tour will be, but we’d be happy to have you come along. However anyone who comes “kicking and screaming” is probably best left behind!