MODA Blog

I Went On a Chocolate Tour in Paris. Spoiler: I Still Love Nutella

I Went On a Chocolate Tour in Paris. Spoiler: I Still Love Nutella

While "studying" abroad, my first weekend in the "city of love" consisted of traveling to at least five different world-renowned shops, experiencing an entirely different world of what I had previously thought was a guilty pleasure: chocolate.

Chocolate in America, while still satisfying and sweet, just doesn't compare to French chocolate. This isn't meant to be a pretentious "I've been in Paris for 3 weeks" statement. There's actually some science behind it. Popular American chocolate, like Hershey's or Dove's, is actually sold as 'candy' in France. Why? There's one simple answer... chocolate content.

There are a few different components to chocolate. Cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar are some of the most prominent. Most American chocolate is around 11% cacao, which doesn't come close to the 45% mark to be considered chocolate in Europe. Greater cacao percentage does add more of a bitter, "dark chocolate" edge to the taste; however, the higher content of cocoa butter in European chocolate makes the chocolate significantly smoother without any oily residue leftover. My tour guide was so confident in the splendor and superiority of European chocolate, and almost guaranteed that my days of eating spoonfuls of Nutella would come to an end.

The few chocolate shops I visited each had its own speciality. One was started by the creator of salted caramel while another was credited as the creator of the best macarons in France. Even more impressive was a chocolatier who was actually a chocolate sculptor. Here are a few highlights from my visit:

1. Pierre Hermé

Image via

Image via

Renowned as one of the best makers of macarons, Pierre Hermé was one of my favorite stops on my chocolate tour. The range of flavors from rose to salted caramel provided a unique experience that truly proved his excellence. His chocolates were also tasty and much sweeter compared to the other chocolates I had. Pierre Hermé ranked as my favorite stop on the tour. 

Several locations in Paris

2. Henri Le Roux

Image via

Image via

If you love salted caramel, you need to visit Henri Le Roux. As the founder of this confection, Henri Le Roux boasts numerous collections of different ganache with various fillings. I tried the pistachio ganache and the salted caramel chocolate, both of which were wonderful. I would recommend the salted caramel, which vaguely reminded me of Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice latte. 

Several locations in Paris

3. Patrick Roger

Image via

Image via

A renowned chocolate sculptor, Patrick Roger has a shop in Saint-Germain with the most incredible layout. His two-story chocolate store is filled with elaborate chocolate sculptures as well as intricate individual pieces. The most memorable design was chocolate marble. According to my tour guide, the chocolate has 28 different layers to replicate this beautiful stone. While I wasn't able to buy the chocolate (9 pieces of chocolate for 50 euro is just sad), I would most definitely recommend it to others for a fancy splurge.

108 Boulevard Saint-Germain

4. Laduree Paris

Image via

Image via

While many tourist claim that Angelina has the best hot chocolate in Paris, my Neurobiology professor insists that Ladurée is the best. After trying it, I could understand where he was coming from, but I much prefer American hot chocolate. Hot chocolate in France is much richer; just melted chocolate with a bit a cream. For someone with a low chocolate tolerance like myself, I could barely get myself to finish the decadent cup. 

Several locations in Paris

5. Pierre Marcolini

Image via

Image via

Pierre Marcolini is a Belgian chocolatier with extensive experience in the chocolate bean trade. The process of harvesting and manufacturing cocoa beans to create the best chocolate is a lengthy and difficult process, but Marcolini is one of the best. His chocolate comes from beans originating around the world. His chocolate was memorable for its smooth texture, but was a little too bitter for my taste. 

Several locations in Paris

While a little overwhelmed by the chocolate buzz toward the end, I was overall very satisfied with the tour. Even though I had some of what the world calls the "best chocolate", I still found myself ordering a Nutella crepe the next day. To each their own, I guess.

Featured image via

Where & Wear: The Dearborn

Where & Wear: The Dearborn

Paris Couture Week Highlights

Paris Couture Week Highlights