What’s a trip to Paris without sampling a
truckload of few sweets? And while macarons and croissants are high on everyone’s lists (including mine) of things to eat while in the City of Light, one would be remiss not to try some chocolates from any of the world famous chocolatiers in Paris.
And so, dutiful tourist that I am, I was happy to oblige and try some chocolate. But where to start? In a city of world class pastry chefs and chocolatiers, how do I choose what to try, which chocolatier to buy from? There’s Jean-Paul Hévin, Fouquet, Patrick Roger and more names that I can’t pronounce, all of them with a cult following, all of them world-class. I’d love to try them all, but not only would that cost me my life’s savings and health, it would also take me forever. Well, that’s where David Lebovitz, a blogger, chef and cookbook author living in Paris, came in. I came across a post of his entitled “10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris” (how can you ignore a title like that?), and that list included La Maison du Chocolat’s Rigoletto Noir.
A chocolate filled with a caramel mousse? SOLD!
So when I came across the La Maison Du Chocolat store on Rue Francois 1er, I made a beeline for it, even if I just wolfed down some Ladurée macarons less than half an hour prior (more on that soon). My purchases? Rigoletto in both milk and dark chocolate and, because I couldn’t resist, more macarons.
I got the chocolate (2 kinds), coffee-chocolate and the caramel-chocolate. Both chocolate macarons were delicious, but I would choose Ladurée’s dark chocolate over them any day. The coffee-chocolate was good, too, but I prefer my coffee full-on, so I’ll pass on this next time.
But the caramel-chocolate. Oh, the caramel-chocolate. How do I even begin to describe it? It’s a salted caramel, with just the tiniest hint of chocolate ganache mixed in. It was bitter, salty, caramel-sweet and chocolate-sweet at the same time. I know the term “perfect balance” tends to be overused when describing contrasting flavors, but it really does accurately describe the filling of this macaron. Oh, Rigoletto macaron (its official name), we shall meet again. Soon. Like, tomorrow.
But the Rigoletto macaron was just a side-show (a wonderful, mouthwatering, beautiful… ok, I’ll stop now) to the main event, which was the Rigoletto chocolate. And so here we are, and please excuse my workman-like hands:
There are no words, really. But as this is a blog post, I will try and verbalize how amazing these chocolates are… Remember what I said about the caramel macaron? Well, you can multiply that by… 74. I know I used numbers there rather than words, but I’m in finance and when words fail me, I let the numbers do the talking. But I’ll give it another go… The contrast of flavors, the silkiness of the caramel mousse, the perfect counterpoint of the salt or the bitter chocolate against all the sweetness, the creaminess of the chocolate… every single aspect of these one-inch wonders deserve a high praise, some sort of tribute to them.
But since my mastery of the English language is letting me down completely, I will pay tribute to La Maison du Chocolat’s Rigoletto (macarons AND chocolate) in the next best way I know how… by high-tailing it back to the store tomorrow to buy more.