Butter, Chocolate, and the Tour Eiffel

We again had breakfast in our apartment- yogurt in little pots, peaches, pastries, bread, and Breton butter. We got another late start today but after finally getting out the door, we headed to Poilâne, a famous bread bakery. It turned out to be delicious bread, very flavorful with a dark crust and good texture, but it did not seem to me like the best of all bread. The dark, thick, crust and caramelized flavor reminded me of Tartine bread from home. But, bread should always go hand in hand with butter, am I right?

So next we took the metro over to the Bon Marché, a gorgeous grocery store that carries many special products, including a large selection of cheeses, and (in David Lebovitz’s opinion) the best butter in Paris. I happen to be fond of Echiré butter, so we decided to buy some of each and have a butter tasting. There were many flavors of Le Beurre Bordier to choose from, vanilla, salt, double cream, chili, herb. We chose salt, and headed over to a nearby park. Both Echiré and Le Beurre Bordier butters were delicious, and I think probably the Le Beurre Bordier butter was superior, but the salted butter was very salty, so it was difficult to compare to the sweet Echiré.

For lunch we tried to go to two different places, but we had bad luck and they were both closed. We ended up going to a cafe in the Montorgueil Street area, for a light lunch and after wandering around more shops, we got crêpes and talked about what to do next. We ended up deciding to embark on a quest for the best chocolate in Paris, which led us to two wonderful chocolate shops, l’Etoile d’Or and Puyricard.

l’Etoile d’Or was a gorgeous little chocolate shop. The shelves lining the walls are full of chocolates and caramels in adorable packaging, reflected by the mirrored wall behind. The whole shop is so welcoming and colorful, and when you step inside, the owner greets you and eagerly introduces you to the collection of chocolates in the case and the window. She began telling my brother (in French) which chocolates were good for him to eat, and which ones he wouldn’t like, and then when he picked one she promptly handed it to him and told him to try it right there in the store. It was like Charlie’s (from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) dream. It felt almost like we were good friends and she was showing us her home. We headed over to the glass case full of chocolates in the middle of the room and she opened it up and started telling us what each chocolate was in a mix of French and English. We received what looked like an antique silver tray and a glove and were told to reach in the case and choose whatever sweets we would like. I got a large dark chocolate covered caramel which was outstanding, and we also got coffee, jasmine, nougat, marzipan, and fleur de sel chocolates and some delicious caramels. This was a wonderful chocolate shop, and it was made even more wonderful because we quickly walked for half an hour to find it before it closed, so it was very satisfying to visit.

The second chocolate shop, Puyricard, was, in contrast with l’Etoile d’Or, very orderly, polished, and calm. Inside, there was a dress dummy by the door wearing a dress made of sugar and chocolate. When we entered and a bell rang on the door, the chocolatier came out from the back and greeted us. He spoke pretty good English, and after first asking which ones were caramel (because my brother and I both like it), we learned about the other chocolates in the case. We got a dark and a milk chocolate covered caramel, and then left and started to walk down the street.. but everyone agreed that we had to go back! So we went back to the store and got more chocolates, and then started walking down the street again. The caramel was runny and so delicious, you had to pop the whole thing in your mouth at once if you didn’t want caramel all over your fingers (though, who would object to that..). We ended up going back a third time to give him my card for my blog!

Overall, we couldn’t decide which chocolate shop was better because they were both so outstanding. I think that depending on the experience you are looking for, you should visit Puyricard for a more traditional chocolate experience or l’Etoile d’Or for a friendly, exciting visit with the shop owner and her chocolates.

You may notice that this post is a little late, that’s because we were out late last night at the Eiffel Tower, watching it sparkle at 10 pm. We had fun watching people take pictures of themselves with the tower, and I’m excited to go back when we have picnic lunch there today.

To read more about the day visit my mom’s post on our family blog: http://redsuitcase.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/p-i-dare-you/


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