Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guest Blog - Tilly Greene

Me Want Food welcomes Tilly Greene to Guest Blog Sunday! If you are interested in writing a guest blog here, please do. See our guest blog information page.

My Big Sin! by Tilly Greene


There, I said it. My biggest sin is chocolate, particularly hot chocolate. I never think about the sugar or calories when I have a cup of the liquid gold in front of me, just how good it will taste.  The flavor, texture, and experience are just some qualities found in the pleasure of sipping on the velvety goodness.

I’m always on the hunt for a wonderful experience with hot chocolate. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be in Paris and decided to seek out the “Best Hot Chocolate” in the city. After many recommendations, I discovered some real gems, both for the chocolate and the experience. Three pots [a pot holds about 2 and a half cups] were tested - okay, joyously consumed - and here are my findings.

Dalloyau was my first stop. We went to the Luxembourg location [opposite the Jardin du Luxembourg - an incredibly beautiful garden, even when not in bloom]. The restaurant is above the shop and seats maybe 30 people, at a push. The walls were alternating stripes, about 20 inches wide, using rich dark chocolate brown and shimmering silver. Sitting was a mixture of couches and chairs, relaxed but still elegant. This was not a mug or large cup, but an average demitasse size and when the chocolate was poured it was thick, very thick. Warm, but not so hot you couldn’t instantly have a sip. Oh my, it was lovely. Yes, it was sweet but not as much as you think.

Ladurée was next. We went to Ladurée Royal - across from Eglise la Madeline [a church]. Entering through the shop, you turn to the side and separated by screens and plants is a jewelbox of a room. Frescoes framed in gold, mirrors, paneling, with seating for maybe 20-25 people. The pot of chocolat chaud arrived on pretty bright pastel rimmed in gold china and a silver pot to hold the goods. Pouring this offering into my cup I found it not horribly dark in color, but fairly thick, and it had a lovely flavor…with a bit of chicory [I thought], at the end. To help dispel the thought this is a sweet beverage, let me tell you this house places two sucre tubes [sugar tubes] on the saucer and yes they were necessary.

Angelina was our last stop [past the Louvre and through the Jardin des Tulieries]. It holds many more people than the other two, between upstairs and the ground floor, maybe 100. There is an aura of the belle époque style surrounding the space, along with a light and airy feeling, despite being packed in. We sat at a table in a room off the main one and found it enchanting. Our pot arrived with a side dish full of freshly whipped cream and a small carafe of chilled water. Despite the claim the chocolat chaud was so thick you could stand a spoon in it [happened to be the least thick of our three] this was a delicious pot of chocolate. I think it was the dollop of cream you added to each cup and the water to clean your palette every once in a while.

In the end there was no clear cut winner, they were all good! Each place and pot was different. I guess it depends on the mood you’re in as to which one you go for. The atmosphere of each was unique, then there was the thickness of Dalloyau, the cream at Angelina or the various flavors at Ladurée…I’d visit each one again.

Sometimes a sin is such a joy, it can’t be bad - I shamelessly and with great pleasure embrace my lapse.

Tilly Greene
WARNING!  Red hot romances ahead!

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1 comment:

Tilly Greene said...

Thank you, Leigh, for letting me share my big sin - in fact, right now I'm enjoying a lovely cup of of peppermint hot chocolate with whipped cream and peppermint snow to top it off. Have a yummy Sunday!