08 Jun2009

La Maison du Chocolat

by Marketman

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Still on our first morning in Paris, less than an hour after we had macarons from Fauchon, we turned the corner onto Boulevard Madeleine and like bees returning to their hive by instinct, we found ourselves in front of La Maison du Chocolat. One of several LMdC branches in Paris (I like the fabulous one of Rue Faubourg St. Honore best), Mrs. MM, The Teen and I had been there on a previous trip, savoring both the giant macarons and eclairs. This time around, we spied the staff laying out the day’s first batch of baked goodies and of course we decided to see what they had in store…

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Pastries in the window were coming out of the kitchen/back of the store as we perused the goodies on offer. Staff weren’t as attentive as they normally were, still setting up for the day. When we saw the full trays of macarons, in just say 8 different flavors, we decided we should taste these as well. They made us wait just a touch longer than acceptable. I should say now that Mrs. MM did her graduate degree in Paris many years ago, and is quite fluent in the French language, with a rather good Parisian accent, she is told, so it is an INCREDIBLE pleasure to tag along with her while shopping as our “look” (Japanese or Asian tourists) vs. speech almost ALWAYS STUNS the locals, usually to pleasant results. Note that MM and The Teen just hang out BEHIND Mrs. MM nodding and looking like we understand what is going on… :)

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At any rate, after waiting a few minutes, the salesman finally approached and Mrs. MM said, in French, “Are these macarons fresh? Made this morning?” to which the salesman looked a bit surprised, excused himself, and headed to the back of the store where I could swear that he screamed at the folks back there something to the effect “Egads, can you imagine, she actually asked me if they were fresh???” Heeheehee. After regaining his composure, he returned a changed salesperson, ever helpful and helping us choose several flavors and wrapping them up. Explaining what the flavors were, what else was on offer. Then in a fit of NICENESS, he took one of EVERY flavor of macaron, placed it on a silver tray, and told us we could taste test them all. Yikes! We were only buying a few pieces and here he was giving away all of these freebies!

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I have to say I was a bit taken off guard, and as The Teen and Mrs. MM munched away, I was quite embarrassed and just said I would taste theirs instead… then of course, with light banter going back and forth, we decided to stay and have several cups of fabulous hot chocolate and some pistachio ice cream under their wonderful orange umbrellas out on the sidewalk!

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The hot chocolate wasn’t the thickest we have ever had, that designation goes to the cup of hot chocolate we had in Barcelona a few years ago, but this had some of the most intense chocolate flavor we have ever tasted. Superb. But really superb. So good we decided to enjoy the macarons later in the day and simply savor the hot chocolate and ice cream.

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La Maison du Chocolat is definitely a family favorite, and despite their growth around the world (they opened a branch in HK last year which is terrific as well, considering its distance from France), they remain true to form, with generally very high quality chocolates and other goodies…

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I also include this photo of another branch of LMdC, I think on Avenue Francois Ier, which we passed on a walk a few days later…

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…and the fantastic ice creams they had on offer, right out on the sidewalk. Yum. Our views on the the LMdC macarons, up next.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Rose5 says:

    slabber!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 12:26 pm

     
  2. Angela says:

    Love, love, love!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 12:58 pm

     
  3. Dee says:

    WOw, what a treat to be able to try ALL flavors, for free! I tasted just one chocolate macaron from their Madison Ave. store in New York :)

    Jun 8, 2009 | 1:09 pm

     
  4. Lou says:

    I’m near to tears, missing both Paris and Hong Kong. Thank you MM for the wonderful descriptions!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 1:48 pm

     
  5. artisan chocolatier says:

    Valrhona makes the chocolates for La Maison per their specification. I believe they are the only ones (to this day) that Valrhona custom blends for. Everyone else gets the factory blend. There are also several small upcoming chocolate shops who’s chocolatier “graduated” from La Maison, but their products are not as consistent in smoothness and taste.

    In the Chocolatier world, Robert Linxe (La Maison’s founder) is the Pope!! Everyone else are cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, etc.

    MM, In your opinion, were the chocolate products (baked products not included) at La Maison still the best?

    Jun 8, 2009 | 1:48 pm

     
  6. Fabian M says:

    Speaking French has its perks for sure in Paris. :D

    Jun 8, 2009 | 1:50 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    artisan, yes, I may be biased. But I do think LMdC has among the best chocolates available. Their truffles are superb. Their orange peel in dark chocolate is superb. Arrghh… just really good overall. And best savored one or two pieces at a time…

    Jun 8, 2009 | 1:53 pm

     
  8. Sanojmd says:

    The perks of having Mrs. MM around.. Freebies on different flavours of macarons!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 3:34 pm

     
  9. Emily says:

    Oh, drool. LMdC’s hot chocolate is richer and yummier than the much-ballyhooed version on offer at Angelina’s on the Rue de Rivoli, and that’s saying something, because Angelina’s chocolat africain is scrumptious!

    That said, the throngs of tourists at Angelina’s definitely detract from the tasting experience, what with perfunctory service and harried waiters.

    Dalloyau hot chocolate, meanwhile, was just a disappointment – maybe I went there on a bad day.

    But how were the macarons?

    Jun 8, 2009 | 4:27 pm

     
  10. joey says:

    I love Maison du Chocolat! Yes, agree…the best chocolate truffles! Siiigh…this post is definitely setting off massive cravings and longings! C and I also breakfasted on their hot chocolate and pastries when we were there (with truffle take-out of course!)…MMM! Can’t wait for the next post :)

    Jun 8, 2009 | 5:45 pm

     
  11. wil-b cariaga says:

    mmm the hot choco looks so lush. . . i think i’ve never had a really good hot thick choco. . .

    Jun 8, 2009 | 6:02 pm

     
  12. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ha ha ha…they really like people who can speak their language…am glad that got you those freebies…gee…they look so luscious …delish..and makes me salivate….yum….

    Jun 8, 2009 | 6:25 pm

     
  13. ragamuffin girl says:

    sad that they don’t have pastries, hot chocolate or ice cream at the La Maison here in HK, just the chocolates…thing is, LGB (Le Gauter Bernardaud) here in HK is a local franchise and they don’t serve the same good stuff as they do in Paris, according to a friend so I do hope if La Maison decides to expand the quality will be the same. I love their chocolates and reward myself with a bite or two whenever I pass by a store.

    Jun 8, 2009 | 6:40 pm

     
  14. James says:

    Incredible!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 6:50 pm

     
  15. mardie c",) says:

    sinfully delicious! ahh, the perks of knowing & speaking another’s language.

    Jun 8, 2009 | 7:23 pm

     
  16. k. ramos says:

    Rock on, Mrs. MM! \m/

    Jun 8, 2009 | 8:28 pm

     
  17. Tricia says:

    Oh wow MM! Good thing I’m off to HK tomorrow. You reminded me of the La Maison du Chocolat. My first stop is at Kowloon Station to walk towards Elements Mall!!!! Thanks :)

    Jun 8, 2009 | 9:16 pm

     
  18. Candygirl says:

    Eclairs….Sigh…

    Jun 8, 2009 | 11:16 pm

     
  19. meng says:

    oh i miss lmdc . YUMMY CHOCS ESP the chocolate milk…

    Jun 8, 2009 | 11:56 pm

     
  20. Vanessa says:

    Divine eclairs!

    Jun 9, 2009 | 12:22 am

     
  21. cheeseheadeatsushi says:

    “Note that MM and The Teen just hang out BEHIND Mrs. MM nodding and looking like we understand what is going on…”

    I could be more efficient in my food exploits if I spoke the language. That goes for Paris and Tokyo. Sigh.

    Jun 9, 2009 | 7:24 pm

     
  22. hill roberts says:

    Hola MM. Buenos dias desde Espana!
    Reading the article above has made me realise that you’re not one to complain, especially when it’s all about France or Europe in general. May I ask why? I mean, I expect you to rant. But, it’s all rave, rave, rave. Hmmmm, am I the only one to have noticed it? I’ve been to Paris and really my husband and I quite enjoyed it. However, I still think the food was good, but nothing out of the ordinary…Perhaps, I may be biased. Madrid offers fresh food, i.e., seafoods and beef from Galicia, brought in everyday to benefit the discriminating taste of the Madrilenos. No, Madrid is not my home, I live way down south in one of Malaga’s resort towns. Perhaps, I mentioned Madrid again because somehow, many seem to underrate it as a tourist destination, something like the equivalent of our capital, Metro Manila. But can I really blame you if your Mrs MM had lived and studied there, and speaks French fluently? You’ve plans of visiting San Sebastian. Good decision. I’ve been to many parts of Spain but never touched the Basque Region. Spanish cities are beautiful. Hopefully, you’d be able to come and visit my adopted country and swoon over its glorious food!

    Jun 13, 2009 | 4:19 pm

     
  23. hill roberts says:

    Hi, again, MM. Recommended Spanish cities: Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla, Madrid, Santander, Bilbao,Salamanca, and of course
    Malaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. You can find the Pablo Picasso Museum in Malaga city. By the way, there’s a part of Malaga that is quite similar to Paris.

    Jun 13, 2009 | 4:30 pm

     
  24. Cristina says:

    I remember going there and buying a bag of truffles. My Mom got shocked on why I spent 20 Euro for it, when I could get store bought ones for around 6. My gosh, it was my biggest splurge on chocolate, but totally worth it. Even if it was nearly four years ago, I could still remember how it feels on my mouth.

    Enough, it might sound gross for some.

    Jun 14, 2009 | 10:23 pm

     
 

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