Edwart Chocolatier

I’d been meaning to stop into Edwart Chocolatier since it opened nearly three years ago. But I had my head buried in the books and I wasn’t let out until after dark. And once released, I’d make a sprint to the nearest bar or café for a drink or glass of wine, before retreating again.

When we finally connected, Edwin Yansané said I should come in for a chocolate tasting. And was happy to be greeted by him on an especially brisk day in Paris at his shop in the Marais, in his wide-brimmed hat. After discussing our favorite cocktail bars in Paris (we have more than chocolate in common!), we got down to business…

The shop seems no larger than a very large box of chocolates, which essentially, it is. And when we finished comparing notes about nightcaps (or late afternoon caps?), I was drawn to the back of his shop where rows and rows (and rows and rows) of chocolates are neatly lined up by flavor, and color.

Edwin first asked if there was anything that I didn’t like. I don’t love licorice and bell peppers, the latter one I probably didn’t have to worry about. But I actively dislike tonka beans, which have become a fixture in some chocolate shops in Paris. The taste of them reminds me of furniture polish, and I get kind of irked when they’re put in food because I can’t get that Pledge-like taste out of my mouth for at least an hour afterward. And I can’t taste anything else. So when someone offers me a chocolate and doesn’t want to tell me what it is, saying only, “Just taste this, Daveed…” I make sure they rule out there aren’t any of those beans in there before I bite.

But I eat any and (almost) all other chocolates, which was a relief to Edwin. He loves combining spices and other ingredients that are found in France, but aren’t always associated with chocolate. He’s particularly interested in the provenance of the cocoa beans, too. Chocolate from each country and region tends to have certain flavor characteristics associated with it, from sweet to smoky, and he likes to work with various types and crus.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the chocolates seem small. In spite of their slightly smaller than a postage stamp-like size, each one is decisively flavored. When you bite into one, which you should do in one single go, you going to taste very specific flavors. And each chocolate delivers them.

It’s generally best when you’re tasting anything, from wine to sushi, to go with the lighter flavors first. Ditto with chocolate. Not that chocolate itself is lightly flavored, though. But it’s best to start with the plain ganaches. Ganache is a simple blend of cream and chocolate, a relatively new invention in the world of chocolate. Cream was (and is) a luxury that most cultures that nurtured chocolate toward what we know it today, didn’t have cream. Even those that had cream couldn’t afford refrigeration, so chocolates were made with spices and nuts, rather than something perishable.

Edwin does use cream in most of his chocolates, but it’s not very noticeable, which moves the chocolate flavor squarely (so to speak) forward. But you’ll be surprised to notice the chocolate used in one, from Papua New Guinea, is smoky and woody, while a square filled with a Madagascar-based ganache has notes of vanilla and honey.

I tasted a sensational noisette chocolate called La Française, flavored with ground French hazelnuts, which you rarely see; most hazelnuts that are available come from Turkey or Italy. French hazelnuts are excellent but they’re not grown in quantities that make them commercially viable, I suppose. Ker Edwart detours through Brittany, with a base of crunchy dentelle (lace) cookies and like the rochers de Bretagne (rocks of Brittany), the Little Big Rock (mini rochers) have irregular bumps of almonds and hazelnuts.

After working through the basics (although this sure didn’t feel like work…), things started to get a bit more adventurous. Eating a Taj Majal with Madras curry, there was a pique après. You get the full-on curry flavor shortly after it melts in your mouth; the heat arrives afterward. Edwin is thinking of toning it down, so if you stop in, let him know how you feel. (His English is perfect so if you don’t speak French, don’t worry about chatting him up.)

Coriander seed can a hard flavor to pick out, but they come through boldly in the chocolate I tasted with them, Damas, made with green anise and star anise, two flavors I enjoy, never mind my aversion to licorice. And with a bit of a sly wink, he offered me a chocolate filled with peanut praline, which he notes is dangereusement addictif. But the wink was because I asked about his use of peanuts beforehand, which French people eat as a bar snack, but don’t tend to appreciate when they’re ground into a paste. Kind of like me not liking licorice, but liking anise and fennel. Go figure.

Eager to please, Edwin makes a vegan chocolate that anyone will enjoy, filled with a blend of ground up roasted cocoa beans and caramelized almonds. Now that I had warmed up, I took in the rest of the shop, and zeroed in on a few jars placed around the counters and on the shelves, specifically one labelled Réminiscense, a blend of chocolate and French hazelnuts which might remind one of another spread that can be a little too popular in France. And Le Grain, a spread made with caramelized hazelnuts, chopped hazelnuts, and chocolate, which I’d come to fisticuffs over, too.

A quick tasting that started in the morning, turned into several hours with the affable Edwin, and he gave me a jar of Le Grain to take with me, which I slyly have been keeping away from Romain. Me bad. But can you blame me?

Edwart Chocolatier
17, rue Vieille du Temple (4th)
Tél: 01 42 78 48 92
Métro: Saint-Paul or Hôtel de Ville
and
244, rue de Rivoli (1st)
Tél: 01 49 27 03 55
Métro: Concorde

A lovely little chocolate shop in Paris, where beautiful chocolates (and other treats) are made.

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65 comments

  • Bethany
    March 15, 2018 2:02pm

    I’m excited that you have written about this chocolate shop because it’s on my list (based on google reviews) for when I come to Paris in June. I’m salivating over that “Le Grain” spread as I’m typing this.

    • March 15, 2018 2:16pm

      We’ll be waiting for you with an open jar Bethany ! :D

  • March 15, 2018 2:15pm

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful and complete article David ! :) See you soon !

  • March 15, 2018 2:21pm

    I am fortunate in that I prefer quality over quantity with my chocolates. One small piece of good chocolate is worth pounds of M&M’s.

  • March 15, 2018 3:01pm

    Gorgeous. Now I want some. But not with tonka beans (which I’ve never had, but your description has me willing to put it off…forever).
    The other day, I was out with my kid, who wanted some chocolate, and who actually chose to get just a couple of pieces from a fancy chocolatier rather than a big industrial chocolate bar. And who then took a very long time to savor them.

    • Nina Harris
      March 17, 2018 10:52pm

      Encourage that young palate! It will be interesting to see where it leads.

    • mumimor
      March 18, 2018 3:03pm

      Haha!
      When my eldest was little, her favorite chocolate was dark with little bits of truffle. Her taste has only developed from there. It’s expensive ;-)

  • Coral White
    March 15, 2018 4:19pm

    I am adding this chocolate shop to my Itinerary! I will be in Paris for four days May 31 – June 4. If I can find my way on the Paris Metro!!!

  • March 15, 2018 4:21pm

    It’s serendipitous that I arrived in Paris yesterday for a six-week stay in the Marais. David, it appears that since I am also cooking through A Paris Kitchen with my Cook the Book Friday’s group, I will follow you anywhere! Looking forward to visiting your shop in the Marais soon, Edwart.

    • March 15, 2018 10:05pm

      Great !! See you there Mary ;)

    • sharon
      March 17, 2018 10:43pm

      Mary, can you tell me about A Paris Kitchen and Cook the Book Friday’s group? I’ll be arriving in Paris for a four month stay at the beginning of April and am looking for interesting cooking experiences. Thanks, Sharon

  • Licia
    March 15, 2018 4:24pm

    Thank you so much for posting this, David. It is on my list of places to stop on my next trip. I made a map of “Daveeed recommendations” on Google Maps and that was what guided our last trip to Paris in October. Would love to hear more about the bar scene, as I was looking for the little wine bars in the Marais or cocktail places and must have missed the best. Stuck with Harry’s bar, the Ritz and Legrand Filles and Fils but felt I could have done better. Thank you in advance!

    • March 15, 2018 6:45pm
      David Lebovitz

      Well…you hit the expensive bars : )
      I have a category of wine bars in Paris here on the site. There are a lot more of them dotted around the city. When you visit, if you just ask someone local for a wine bar, there’s usually one (at least) in every neighborhood. The bar scene changes quickly too. You might want to check out my friend Forest’s site 52 Martinis, as she writes a lot about the Paris cocktail scene. I like to go to them but it’s hard to write them up because I’m using having a cocktail (or two…)!

  • March 15, 2018 4:54pm

    My local organic hazelnut orchard, based in the Brenne, who sell the oil, not the nuts themselves, also make chocolate nut pastes. He’s developed one with a chef friend which is flavoured with coriander. Very subtle but a nice combo.

  • Beverly Burgoyne
    March 15, 2018 5:25pm

    Could you please explain why the shop is called EdWART when the chocolatier’s name is EdWIN?

    • March 15, 2018 6:50pm
      David Lebovitz

      I think it was a mash-up of his name, and the name of his former business partner, Arthur.

      • Beverly Burgoyne
        March 15, 2018 6:59pm

        Thanks for the explanation, David.

  • Amy
    March 15, 2018 5:35pm

    Thank you for another lovely article! I so look forward to them.

  • Jeannette
    March 15, 2018 6:09pm

    I have been reading your newsletter religiously since I found your article about mustard glasses used as a baking measurement tool. I was translating a family cookbook into English. I live in Lyon and it has helped me on numerous recipes. I really enjoy your articles.

  • Christine from CT, USA
    March 15, 2018 6:45pm

    Merci, Chef David. I am going to EDWART this weekend thanks to your writings. I also plan to visit Blé Sucré, the Marché Aligre et Restaurant Astier thanks to you.

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Corey Frye. He is an American living in Paris and a professional tour guide (“A French Frye In Paris” is his site and FB profile). Corey also loves Edwart and has featured it in his FB Live tours.

    I am bringing him a copy of your book when I meet him this weekend!

  • Sonoma-Valley-Tom
    March 15, 2018 6:54pm

    Next time you visit San Francisco California, sample the outstanding chocolates of Christopher Elbow. Each is pretty as a jewel and is redolent with flavor. See: https://www.elbowchocolates.com/

  • Kimbob
    March 15, 2018 7:02pm

    We were there last week – wonderful chocolates and great tasting experience with Edwin who asked if I was “adventurous”. Answer should yes! Highly recommend a visit! Question for Edwin … do you ship to the US?! ;)

    • March 15, 2018 10:07pm

      Hello ! Thanks for the compliments ! :) Unfortunately we don’t ship to the US yet but it should happen within the year.

  • Molli
    March 15, 2018 7:18pm

    Where can you order Edwart chocolates in the US?

    • March 15, 2018 10:08pm

      Hello Molli ! Unfortunately we don’t ship to the US yet but it should happen within the year :)

  • Judi Suttles
    March 15, 2018 7:23pm

    Thank you for posting this. I have the same aversion to licorice flavors as you. However, mine is the reverse – I love good black licorice but can’t stand fennel or anise flavored things. By good licorice, I find Dutch and Scandinavian to be the best.

  • Sandra Myers
    March 15, 2018 7:31pm

    Emily et al will be in Paris next month. If I give her some money and you see her one day or so, please make sure she gets to a few of these amazing chocolate shops to bring me home some excellent dark chocolate ( no etrange flavors though). Thanks!
    Sandra

  • March 15, 2018 7:53pm

    Merci David! Fabulous article and is making me wish we still lived in Paris! Will tell friends about Edwart for sure! And we will go there first thing next time we are in Paris!

    Hope you’ve kept Le Grain safely hidden!

  • Mariann
    March 15, 2018 9:22pm

    I am lucky enough to go to Paris is July. I have already had this place picked out and it’s by my hotel I am staying at. Looking forward to it

  • TARA
    March 15, 2018 11:01pm

    Oh my! I’m adding this to my list of places to visit next time I’m in Paris. I certainly hope Edwin is there when I come in. He sounds delightful, and I would love some recommendations. I’m sure I’ll be delighted with the chocolates no matter what. David hasn’t steered me wrong yet!

  • Judy Adams
    March 15, 2018 11:09pm

    Love all your dark chocolate ganache…
    Always fun to visit Edwin at Edwart!

  • Madeline B.
    March 16, 2018 12:26am

    Miam, miam! I’m going to be visiting Paris in may. I’ll make a special trip to see this shop.

  • Chandler in Las Vegas
    March 16, 2018 12:45am

    David, I must say that you commenting in the comments more and having Edwin join in on the conversation is simply delightful. It creates the the complete experience. Bravo to all.

  • max
    March 16, 2018 12:55am

    BEST HOT CHOCOLATE EVER. Last time we were in Paris in early fall, the cart was in front of the shop (Rue Dr Rivoli), and we couldn’t resist. We had to wait while a customer was assisted inside, but it was more than worth it.

  • Ellen A.
    March 16, 2018 1:18am

    Love Edwart chocolates! We stopped in a few months ago and were assisted by a beautiful young woman who also spoke excellent English. The high quality of the chocolates, the inventiveness and variety are amazing. We bought five gift boxes to take to friends in the U.S.

  • Mary Ann Hanlon
    March 16, 2018 2:23am

    Tonka beans are used in perfume. I can’t imagine what they would taste like in chocolate.

  • Aimee
    March 16, 2018 6:15am

    Ooh! This sounds right up my alley!! I will be in Paris in May and June and will for sure make a point to stop in here. Thanks!

  • Lauri
    March 16, 2018 8:51am

    I was at this fabulous place during a food tour of Le Marais and oh la la it was fantastic and YES tell Edwin you are adventurous and the chocolate adventure will be worth it. Great experience with a friendly and talented rising star. Thank you for writing about it! Can’t wait to return.

    • March 16, 2018 9:35am

      Lauri, I just arrived in Paris and am staying in Le Marais for 6 weeks. Could you tell me which tour you took (if you would recommend it). Merci mille fois, Mary Hirsch

  • Karen Brown
    March 16, 2018 9:37am

    Dear David, I’m glad I’m not the only one who is not enamoured with Tonka beans. Having never used them before, I bought a small jar full whilst in Paris last year. I sweet-talked the New Zealand biosecurity officer into letting me bring them into the country, and hoarded them until Christmas. I was planning an apricot and Tonka bean custard trifle for dessert. Poached apricots, made liquor syrup, baked sponge cake, infused vast quantities of cream and milk for the crème patîsserie. Ended up with completely vile-tasting dessert, which went in the bin.(I was lucky that I had a back-up frozen Buche de Noel!)

    I figured it was my inexperience with the ingredient, and that I had used too much Tonka bean, over-infused the dairy, but your description of a lingering furniture polish taste is exactly right. Cheers from the South Seas, Karen

  • cherstinne
    March 16, 2018 10:06am

    Paris is paradise

  • silvia
    March 16, 2018 11:40am

    Dear David,
    I need you please to help me.
    I would like to learn to work with chocolate, adding different colours and textures, modelling it for cakes, cupcakes, etc.
    Any idea a good web that offers classes online? Thanks!

  • Jan
    March 16, 2018 12:42pm

    Greetings from Provence. Are any of these delectable looking chocolates available down here? Otherwise, it’s a TGV up to the Marais, for chocolate!

  • adrian
    March 16, 2018 4:43pm

    nice write-up, David, as usual. Ended a bit abruptly though. Would be nice to hear more about the man behind the chocolates! I love your stories. And must get me to Paris for some Le Grain!

  • March 16, 2018 4:51pm
    David Lebovitz

    silvia: Check our Ecole Chocolat. They do online chocolate classes and are excellent.

    adrian: Thanks. It’s a challenge to taste chocolates while taking notes and taking photos (and listening to the chocolatier!) I also like to keep the blog posts a good length for easy reading : ) But glad you liked it & thanks for the feedback.

    Jan: Yes, they ship to France, Europe and Japan. Check their website for more info.

  • Gina Baun
    March 17, 2018 2:08am

    You bad but we solid.

  • sharon
    March 17, 2018 10:36pm

    It would be helpful and more informative if you posted some sample prices.

    • March 18, 2018 9:13am
      David Lebovitz

      Prices change so I generally refer people to the company (or restaurant) rather than in blog posts because they can become obsolete. And people may be surprised if they go a year or so later and the prices aren’t the same as the ones I’ve quoted. Edwart lists their products and prices on their website, which give you an idea of how much their chocolates cost.

  • Nina Harris
    March 17, 2018 11:02pm

    Is it possible to survive on a diet of superb chocolate and nutritional supplements? Whilst I’d like to believe that chocolate will supply all my needs… Top of my “to taste” list for my September visit.

  • Sherry Friedman
    March 18, 2018 6:26pm

    I want to be there, NOW! This all sounds amazing…particularly the spreads which I’m sure will have me saying “Nutella who?”, and I love Nutella. Every year we head to our favorite chocolateries and now Edwart has gone on the list. I only wish I didn’t have to wait until September to try it!

    • March 19, 2018 1:41pm

      Hello Sherry ! See you in September then ;) Timegoes by very fast…

  • Paula
    March 18, 2018 7:08pm

    Now I wishI could both eat chocolate and live in Paris.

    *Sigh*

  • Gavrielle
    March 18, 2018 11:50pm

    Wonderful post! Edwart is now on my must visit (and must buy one of everything) list. Your instruction to chat Edwin up made me giggle – this British phrase has been taken up by Americans but they use it in a different way, as in UK English it means to flirt. Or perhaps Edwin would enjoy that:). NB you have a small typo – Papa instead of Papua.

    • adrian
      March 19, 2018 11:05am

      Hi Gavrielle,

      I think it actually is Papua.

      • March 19, 2018 11:14am
        David Lebovitz

        Got it – fixed! -thanks…

      • Gavrielle
        March 19, 2018 11:35pm

        Adrian: that’s right, but David originally had Papa.

  • Christian
    March 20, 2018 5:30pm

    Thank you David for your wonderful recipes and writing! This chocolatier sounds wonderful, I’ll put it on the list for the next Paris trip. I emailed you directly a long time ago about making nocino, which you so nicely responded to, I so appreciated it! Have you been to a newer patisserie called Patisserie Nanan in Bastille? Our friend Sophie opened it- we would love to visit her and taste her work…maybe you could do a tasting for us? Your recipes have given our family such joy, ever since we lived in Berkeley and explored Room for Dessert. From your ginger cake to sorbet/gelato/ice cream recipes, we love it all… Thank you for sharing your passion for food with us- best wishes to you!

  • March 21, 2018 3:57am

    Hi David, Would you consider adding a map to your articles, or even better, when one searches on you’re menu bar under pastry shops that a map come up with all the shops you’ve reviewed?

  • March 21, 2018 11:12pm

    My husband and I were in Paris two years ago and were charmed by both Edwin and his chocolates. They are second to none in their innovative flavors and addictive taste. I was so sad when I finished the box we brought home. This post makes me want to check airfares to France!

    • March 22, 2018 12:20pm

      Hello Mabry, aw, thanks a lot for these kind words. Yes, come back to France ! :D