After completing the Sexy Chocolate Tour in Paris, I have never looked at or tasted chocolate in the same way again.
Best Chocolate Tour in Paris
Sexy and chocolate. Two words that go together in Paris, a city steeped in style, entrenched in fine gastronomy and in love with beauty. In Paris, something as beautiful as chocolate has become a food to admire, adore, savor and give.
Stefane, our guide and French foodie (he’s also a chef), took us on the Sexy Chocolate Tour in Paris designed by his company Original Food Tours. In four hours we explored the picturesque district Saint Germain des Pres where the impossibly charming streets are lined with world class chocolatiers and pastry shops.
Chocolate in Paris
I’ve always loved chocolate. One of my favorite vacations as a child was a trip our family took to Hershey Park. Living in Europe, I have become a bit of a chocolate snob. While good old Hershey’s fondly reminds me of being a kid, as a food writer I am a fan of the handmade and artisan chocolate experience. Where else to experience the best but in Paris?
Chocolate making was introduced in Europe in the 16th century. At first it was used as remedy for stomach aches, not sexy at all! However, its sweeter charms were discovered and soon enough chocolate was a treat for the very rich. Marie Antoinette apparently loved her chocolate.
Fast forward to today and there has been a continuing evolution in Parisian chocolate culture. If you think all French chocolatiers are the same — think again.
Stefane pointed out the difference in styles and artistry of the chocolate. We visited chocolatiers with that touch of Marie Antoinette glamour such as Debauve and Gallais and Laduree and then we moved on to get a taste of the more contemporary.
High-End “Sexy” Chocolate
Contemporary boutiques were set in smooth design, featuring well-lit shelves, elegant lighting, gloved assistants and shiny brochures. The chocolate on display could easily have been replaced with diamonds or lingerie. We sampled the signature chocolates by Pierre Marcolini, Arnaud Larher and Pierre Herme. There was one high-end chocolatier brand that stood out…
If it wasn’t for this tour, I would’ve passed the shop completely.
Stefane led us to small square and asked us to figure out which building was our next stop. With the way things were going, a nondescript building with a minimal exterior and a name that sounded like a fashion brand had to be it. I was right.
Patrick Roger turned out to be the most modern of chocolatiers we had visited. We were met by cool aqua colors and sleek lines. Once I got past taking in the design, I noticed carefully lined chocolates arranged on a metal mesh counters. There was even a modern art gallery on the second floor of the shop.
In case you are wondering, a large Patrick Roger gift box of is priced around 80 to 100 euro. Worth it? Well, the quality was undeniable. I ended up purchasing a box of four chocolates for seven euro.
Macaron Tour in Paris
Just like chocolates, macarons in Paris are a treat of diversity and tastes. The Sexy Chocolate Tour in Paris took us to both the sweet and savory. Established in 1999 by Yannick Lefort, Macarons Gourmands offered this range of “new” macaron tastes.
Stefane informed us that the savory movement began about five years ago and has taken off. Think flavors such as pepper, peas, basil tomato, watercress and artichoke hearts. For the sweet versions we made a stop at a beautiful Laduree shop with a gorgeous tea room.
Sexy French Pastries
The art of looking good and tasting good also extends to the French pastry. This country makes some of the best in the world. Think eclairs, tarte tatin, tarte au citron, choux a la crème, mille-feuille, crepes and croissants.
Un Dimanche à Paris was our stop for a tea and a sampling of French pastries and cakes. Stefane pointed out the Tartlett de Fig is one of the hot new favorites.
Conclusion: Sexy Chocolate Tour in Paris
Besides tasting amazing truffles, creamy chocolates, colorful macarons and indulging in several traditional desserts, Stefane gave us his insight into the chocolate and dessert culture of his city.
Paris is a crowded metropolis where people typically live in small spaces, so they have small fridges. That’s one reason shopping for food every day is part of a life. Parisians also value fresh food, too. Districts have neighborhood farmer’s markets and independent mom and pop shops to pick up specific foodstuffs (bread to cheese) on the way home. A quick stop at the neighborhood chocolatier is usually on a Parisian’s list of things to buy as well.
If you love sweets, this is the tour to take. Even if you are not a sweet tooth (like my sister) you’ll enjoy learning about this fascinating part of Parisian food culture.
Our guide, Stefane, was passionate about his country’s culinary history and well versed in the latest foodie trends. His take on chocolate offered us a glimpse of his world and a chance to sample some of the best chocolates in Paris and perhaps on the continent.
When you conclude this chocolate tour in Paris you’ll understand what it means for chocolate to be sexy!
Original Food Tours
Sexy Chocolate Food Tour
99 euro per person
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