Looking in the windows of La Maison du Chocolat, the exquisite chocolates and éclairs called to me. Once entering the tiny shop, the colored walls and lighting melted with the confections filled with ganache. No picture taking was allowed inside the store. La Maison is known for éclairs filled with butter cream and one bite brought out the smoothness and complexities of the chocolate rather than sweetness. The shell was perfectly baked and encapsulated the filling so each bite contained the lusciousness.

My food guide explained the French are very particular about their chocolates and prefer quality over quantity. Rather than eating a Hershey bar, they delight in enjoying exactly what they want, even if it is small, because the flavors are savored. It’s common to make a long trek to the store to buy one special piece of candy to satisfy an anticipated longing. My little piece of dark chocolate praline had a scrumptious layering of fresh flavors from first bite to an elegant finish. Now I understand the meaning of a special treat and why a whole box doesn’t need to be eaten at once!

We somewhat floated to the next chocolate taste at Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier and his upscale candies have traditional milk and dark flavors plus modern fillings with four spices and fruits. Pierre’s confections have won prestigious awards, which is not taken lightly in Europe and such honors are highly coveted.

Less is more with these chocolates.   pierre