Recently in Paris and France category:

Puerto Cacao

I keep a piece of paper near my front door. On it are places in Paris that I want to visit. When I hear about a place that sounds interesting, on the list it goes. Unfortunately, it seems as soon as I cross one off, a few more get added. And the list gets longer and longer and longer and longer and… One particular spot…

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For my birthday, back in December, Romain presented me with a Kalouga bar from Bernachon, handwrapped personally for me by Denise Acabo of A l’Etoile d’Or, one the best, and wackiest, candy and chocolate shops anywhere in the world. I’ve been afraid to open it since I know what’ll happen once I do. So I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, or a WTF…

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All I can say is—I hope they work… Les Chocolats Bernard Dufoux 32, rue Centrale La Clayette Tél: 03 85 28 08 10 Also available at: A l’Etoile d’Or 30, rue Fontaine (9th) Paris Tél: 01 48 74 59 55

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Mailboxes across France are smelling a little better recently. Because last month, La Poste released a limited-edition of, yes, chocolate stamps—or des timbres au chocolat. When I saw them over at La Cuisine de Babeth, I raced over to my local branch of La Poste and asked to buy a sheet. When the woman behind the counter handed the sheet over, the smell of chocolate…

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Aside from the massive safe in the Banque de France, probably the toughest place to get in to in France is the Ecole de Grand Chocolat Valrhona in the little town of Tain l’Hermitage. Admission to the professional cooking program I attended is by invitation only, and several times of the year, pastry chefs and chocolatiers from all over the world come to Valrhona to…

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To those of you who’ve been writing and pleading to get into the laboratory of Jacques Genin, the most elusive chocolatier in Paris, the wait is over. After years of jumps and starts, he’s finally opening his boutique in Paris, which is open to the public. (Previously, one had to call, or just show up at his workshop in the 15th arrondissement, and hope he…

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There’s a misconception that the French don’t eat junk food. While it’s true that the drugstore shelves around here are lined with, of all things—drugs, there are some foods around that don’t quite fall into the high-fallutin’ AOC category elsewhere. It’s become commonplace to see teenagers swilling la Coca from plastic liter jugs on the sidewalks and it’s not unusual to see a Parisian toting…

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If you want to see a normally unflappable Parisian go into a little bit of a crazed frenzy, you don’t need to watch their reaction to me mercilessly butcher their beautiful language. One just needs to utter a single word — cheesecake. As soon as I took the cream cheese out of the refrigerator this morning, my French other-half started circling the kitchen counter, to see what was…

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Eye Candy

Rochoux’s caramel-filled chocolate bar. At the shop, they advise you that after you’ve started it, to store it upright to prevent the caramel from running out. That is, of course, is based on the assumption that there’s going to be any left over in the first place. John-Charles Rochoux 16, rue d’Assas (6th) Tél: 01 42 84 29 45 (Map) Related links: And more chocolate:…

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