Valentine's day is quickly approaching. It's time to share the results of the truffle tasting we did last month so you have time to buy your sweetheart a little something! Recall the following photos. This time I'm disclosing who each chocolatier is. I'm also disclosing some key comments made about each. I guess by the time you get to the 5th one, you'll have a general idea of who the winner is.
The final ranking is provided at the end, but if you want the real deal, as in a real in depth report, you'll find it in Discover Paris' newsletter (click there!). They share all sorts of discovered pleasures about this big village. I highly recommend it.
So, without further adieu, here we go:
Maker: La Maison du Chocolat
Crunchy shell; ganache is a bit dry; exterior is dry ; taste is neutral; "good, but not exciting". (My own opinion of this truffle was very low. This surprised me greatly since I bought their truffles before & thought they were great. Granted, this was a few years ago. What happened?)
Surprise, Guest entry: Made by Alison Johnson, pastry chef of Michelin star Restaurant Jean
Very good! Lingers in the palette which I like. Taste: acidic start that evolves to a fruity/floral end. Firm, dense chocolate that is moist & smooth. "This is a mini dessert in my mouth; "I love this!".
Maker: Jeff de Brugges.
Strange shape. (No comment!)
Hard exterior & inside is too light (like frosting). It's imbalanced & not like a truffle (too airy). "Decent for its complexity, but for as big as it is, it lacks character".
Cross cut of the Jeff de Brugges truffle. The inside is really too much like frosting, even if it doesn't look so obvious from the photo. The outside is way to hard...This combo is no good!
Maker: Jean Charles Rochoux
Square & soft. Temperature is on the cool side. Exterior melts at your touch. Texture is extremely soft. It melts in your mouth immediately. Taste is nice, dark, rich. "The size is perfect for having after a meal, with an espresso....where you could just pop one in your mouth & enjoy it immensely without feeling like you're over-indulging". I like this shape - it's very modern! Surprisingly "untruffle-like in shape, but it's fun!"
Maker: Wiess, distributed by Mococha on rue Mouffetard
Shaped like gumdrops! Dense, dark interior. Light colored cocoa on the outside. Sweet chocolate taste at first, and then a cinnamon tone that lingers. Very good.
Finally, here is how the chocolate stacks up (from most preferred to least preferred):
1) Jean-Charles Rochoux (16, rue d'assas, 75006) - go there & you won't be disappointed. This is true artisan chocolate making. A real treat.
2) Pastry Chef Alison Johnson (of Restaurant Jean, 8, rue Saint Lazarre, 75009) - a close 2nd by only a smidgen. Go to where she works...you'll love all of her pastries, and if you're lucky, she might just have chocolates on the menu.
3) Mococha/Weiss (89, rue Mouffetard, 75005) -- well worth the visit. A decent 3rd ranking. You shouldn't be disappointed with this chocolate shop.
4) La Maison du Chocolat (various addresses) - a surprising disappointment. Avoid, I say.
5) Jeff de Brugges (various addresses), who you might be surprised to know, is NOT from Brugges, but from France (with production in Belgium, or so I've been told). I didn't realize how industrialized this chocolate is because I had never tasted it before. Thought it had to be good....being from Brugges and all...(yep, I had been victim to its marketing.) Plus, the shops sure do look tempting... However, this was a big looser. Not even close to the rest. Better to not have any than to have this one. (Ouch. But, it's honestly how I feel about it. Sorry Jeff, if you even exist!)
There are lots of other chocolate shops out there....so there's plenty more for us to discover & to rank. Meanwhile, Happy Valentine's Day! And I'll leave you with this image of chocolaty treats, full of Valentine's sentiments.