Passing by the French capital a couple of times a year for short stays, I got used to following trends. Last year, I went hunting through all tne burger shops, then I continued searching for the best éclair… Year after year, I keep on discovering new things in one of the world’s most beautiful capitals, one that guarantees a fine selection of delicious creations.
This year, discoveries continued by visiting the best choux a la crème shops, as well as starting with a selection of fine chocolate producers and who else than Marcolini, Pierre Marcolini, a world champion, taking on all with his fine chocolates.
Coming straight from Belgium, Marcolini landed in the capital of taste offering a large selection of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and special editions. The packaging is simple yet includes lots of information.
- The region and the country of origin
- The beans used
- Name of the estate
- The specific variety of plantation
- Genetic variety of the cocoa bean
- Percentage of cocoa
Pierre Marcolini opened his first store in Brussels in 1995, the same year he was named the World Champion of Pastry. A decade later Marcolini outlets opened in Paris, London, New York and Kuwait as well as several in Tokyo and numerous examples in Belgium.
Pierre Marcolini is the only chocolatier in Belgium and one of the very few in Europe to make his own chocolate, bringing out the best flavors for all his creations.
A beautiful shop that’s very aromatic transports you around the world as you push the doors of the boutique open. White walls, black shelves, chocolate boxes, here simplicity is key. If you plan on discovering Marcolini, start with one of the assorted boxes, which come in blends of 9 or 16 mini squares.
As a fan of dark chocolate, I chose one of each of the dark blends, which I found majestic. The texture, the hardness, the consistency and flavor are all just superb:
- Kendem Lembu, Java 72%:An interesting crunch, a little bitter after note and a flavorful chocolate that melts under the palate, concentrated in butter but not fatty. Strong cocoa flavors have a long lasting aftertaste. This sample exhibits distinctive sweet and rich flavors, with notes of fruit and a good finish, but a less developed aftertaste.
- Bahia Brazil 78%: Slightly acidic and bitter note. A slight amber flavor, with a floral side and a few yellow fruit notes (banana and pineapple). Loved its consistency and smooth feel under the teeth. What a chocolate!
- Los Rios Ecuador 78%: A very tasty chocolate with a balanced acidity and a strong aromatic note. Jasmine and orange flower notes, characteristic of the local "Arriba" label. A distinctive edge dominates the taste of this fairly bitter sample and delivers an intriguing tasting experience, which might however not be to everyone's taste.
- Cocoa Flower Blend 85%: Fine aromatic strength, slightly acidic. My least favorite of the four has a certain unpleasant dryness. Typical cocoa flavor, subtly aromatic; red and yellow fruit notes.
Paris, Belgium or wherever you’re traveling, Marcolini is a must try.