It’s undeniable that Patrick Roger’s chocolates have taste. One bite of his signature chocolate, a shiny chartreuse orb filled with liquid lime caramel and packaged individually in a tiny turquoise case that could easily be mistaken for Tiffany’s ring box, confirms that his sweets have style and substance. There’s an attention to detail throughout the process, from how the ingredients are sourced and prepared to how the chocolates are presented (when Patrick Roger staff handle the merchandise, they put on black gloves to match the carefully designed interior).
Roger’s studio in the suburb of Sceaux supplies his nine shops throughout Paris and Belgium with a wide variety of bonbons, truffles, bars, and whimsical, seasonal sculptures. His chocolates are some of the best looking and best tasting in the city. The exquisite chic treats make his shop a chocoholics dream.
After decades at the top of France’s chocolate scene, Roger is shaking up the art of chocolate-making. Whereas other chocolatiers aim for gloss, Roger may create a brushed effect on hens so realistic you almost expect them to lay (chocolate) eggs. The clean lines of Roger’s shop show off his bold style and playful displays. Contemporary flavours like lemongrass and Sichuan peppercorn mix with classic pralines, dark ganaches, and caramels. The zippy notes of fresh lime juice enlivens a cushion of ganache, smoky Earl Grey tea, and meltingly tender rum raisin-filled nuggets: all are examples of the masterful balance of flavours he works with. Rochers, square cubes of chocolate, flecked with little crackly-bits then dipped in chocolate couverture, or perfect squares of nougatine, a caramelized melange of crispy nuts and burnt sugar, ground together to a paste, formed into cubes and neatly enclosed in chocolat amer.
Many of his customers either wander in,, lured by the simple, yet dramatic chocolate displays in the window and seem to walk around the shop in a daze, not sure of where to begin or what to taste. The other customers are food-savvy Parisians, who’ve stopped in to pick up a little sack of noisettes, wild hazelnuts dipped in crisp caramel on their way home.
Make sure you add one of Patrick Rogers shops to your chocolate check list for Paris.
Locations: 108 boulevard St Germain des Prés, 6e; 91 rue de Rennes, 6e; 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8e;45 avenue Victor Hugo, 16e; 12 cité Berryer, Village Royal, 8e.
Source: davidlebovitz.com, .timeout.com and parisbymouth.com