Happy Easter! Neither Jon nor I are churchgoers, but we do eat lots of chocolate on Easter. Clearly what Christians envisioned 1,975 years ago.
Because we’re in Paris for the weekend, I looked forward to visiting my sweet shop favorites (none of them secrets): Pierre Herme, Patrick Roger and Cacao et Chocolat. Unfortunately, I failed to put two and two together enough to realize that Easter time at a Paris chocolate shop is *total madness*. Lines lines everywhere.
Pierre Herme near St. Sulpice is tiny, which magnified the Easter effect. (I’m sure the Kiehl’s shop next door is thrilled to death with the long lines of people blocking their doorway). Yesterday, Jon and I waited patiently for forty minutes in the cold, marveling at the dozens of languages spoken by our fellow macaron addicts. It seems the shop’s fame is global.
Once inside, I focused on the macarons and resisted all the chocolates and pastries, knowing that I’d be headed to two other chocolate shops. You can buy a small sachet of six macaroons for just over nine euros, and the sky’s the limit when you buy bigger boxes. The smallest box fits seven, in case, like me, you’d prefer the box over the sachet to protect the crisp shell of the meringues. My favorites are pretty unadventurous – pistache, vanille and ispahan. And the olive oil and the passionfruit ones are close “second favorites”.
Macaroons in hand, Jon and I walked west to Patrick Roger and were so sad to see yet another long line. And then it started hailing. We gave up and went back to our hotel.
Luckily, Patrick Roger was open today, Easter Sunday, so I still got my praline feuillantines fix. Crispy, delicate layers of nutty praline in a smooth, rich chocolate. (I have pretty basic chocolate preferences – it has to be dark and it has to be nutty).
The Patrick Roger chocolates are expensive, but I buy in small quantities: sachets for me. That way you can control how many pieces of chocolate you buy without worrying about filling a box. Boxed chocolates can be had starting at 23 euros if you stick with really small boxes and really simple chocolates.
Because a girl with any hope of having retirement savings can’t buy too many items at Patrick Roger too often, I also like going to Cacao et Chocolat for their slightly-more-reasonable prices and still-delicious goodies. Chocolate-covered almonds are my fave. I love biting through the bitter cocoa powder and semi-sweet, squishy ganache on my way to the almond center. A 9-euro bag can keep me entertained for days. I have oddly-good willpower when it comes to rationing my chocolate.
And need I mention that all of the above make great gifts for friends and family? (Though for flavor’s sake, you have to be sure you see them soon. In the case of the macarons, within the next two days, at most).
Pierre Herme, 72 rue Bonaparte, +33 (0)220.127.116.11.77 (Metro: St. Sulpice) and another location at 185 rue de Vaugirard (Metro: Pasteur).
Patrick Roger, 108 Boulevard St. Germain, +33 (0)1. 18.104.22.168 (Metro: Cluny-Sorbonne)
Cacao et Chocolat, 36 rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais, +33 (0)22.214.171.124.06 (Metro: St. Paul), with three other locations in Paris.