Chocolate is the ONLY food I eat every day without fail. Does this make me a chocolate expert? Maybe not but my passion for chocolate goes way back, I’ve been studying this fascinating food for over 20 years. I am excited to share my top 3 chocolate bites with YOU that will not disappoint.
On ATOP trips to Paris, we always schedule a chocolate tasting and it’s one of my favorite events of the week. I buy tidbits from 5-6 of my favorite chocolatiers and we taste and learn more about chocolate. It is big fun!
Fine French chocolates have several things in common. To start, they are mostly dark chocolate; roughly 70% with the remaining 30% being milk chocolate and NO white chocolate. It’s rare to find white chocolate in fine French shops, after-all, with no cocoa in the formula, it’s not really chocolate.
Secondly, fine French chocolate bonbons come in 2 categories; praline and ganache. Praline is a mixture of caramelized nuts, caramel and chocolate that has been finely ground into a paste. The nuts can be hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios or some combination of these. Ganache bonbon centers are a mixture of cream, chocolate and flavorings, almost always natural such as steeped herbs and fruits. Ganache fillings are very smooth and melt on your tongue.
The third commonality and a big difference between French chocolates and American, Swiss or Belgium varieties is the very thin coating of chocolate that covers the fillings. The thinner the coating, the more elegant the bite. This paper-thin coating is very difficult to achieve and takes a tremendous amount of skill.
Now my favorites counting down from 3-1!
In 3rd place- JP Hevin- My favorite bite is Framboise (raspberry) Ganache in dark chocolate. It’s sweet-tart decadence in one bite!
2nd place- La Maison du Chocolat
The Petit Rocher Noir- Small chocolates with an almond in the center, en-robed first in praline and then coated with dark chocolate.
1st place- Patrick Roger Chocolate Almonds. I have never had this type of almond anywhere else. I know many have tried to replicate it, including yours truly to NO avail. The almonds are roasted, en-robed in praline, coated in chocolate and then rolled in coco powder. I call them heaven and hell almonds, heaven when you have them and craving hell when you run out!
Next time you are in Paris, you will know exactly where to go to get your chocolate fix!
OH, are you looking for a speaker for your meetings in 2020? See The Joy of Chocolate and my other speaker offerings here.