by Richard Nahem Jun 9, 2021 9:26am in travelagentcentral.com
L’Instant Cacao(Richard Nahem)
Parisians have a sophisticated palate for chocolate, and they favor intense, dark chocolate over milk chocolate. French chocolatiers are always refining and working on elevating the art of chocolate-making and in recent years, there’s been a proliferation of “bean-to-bar” chocolate makers. The term “bean-to-bar” means the chocolate companies import and roast their own beans to produce their own chocolate. The advantages are that they have a better control over the quality of the chocolate, and they could adjust the tastes and add flavorings to their own preferences.
Here are the top two bean to bar chocolate shops in Paris. (Warning: Don’t read this article if you are a chocoholic and don’t have any on hand!)
L’Instant Cacao, a tiny shop, just behind the Palais Royal, lined with burlap sacks of cacao beans on the floor, packs a lot of great chocolate into a small space. The young, twenty-something-year-old owner, Marc Chinchole, is a veritable one-man operation and does it all: Roasts the beans, oversees the hours-long process of turning them into liquid chocolate, does the packaging and, finally, is the sales point person.
There’s an extensive tablet collection, with over 25 selections of mostly dark chocolate, and the eclectic flavors include dark chocolate with kumquats, salty and sweet with praline, smoked salt, red pepper, and white chocolate scented with goat’s milk and curry.
Other offerings include chocolate-covered orange and ginger rind, Florentines, which are dark chocolate disks with slivered, caramelized almonds, along with passionfruit and apricot-, honey and chestnut-, and licorice-flavored ganaches. In the fall and winter, L’Instant Cacao serves a rich, thick hot chocolate.
L’Instant Cacao is open Tuesday to Saturday.