Assuming that you like food and are not gluten or lactose intolerant, Gerard Mulot has a little something for everyone. You're initially greeted by the patisserie section (you know, the best section, hence why it is first), then a chocolate display on the left, a savory food counter on the right and breads/viennoiseries in the back. Since it was lunch time many customers packed into the back to buy sandwiches and other sensible lunch items.
If you've been keeping up with my posts, you should expect me to eschew sensibility when it comes to eating "real food" versus "things that should be eaten after real food". Pulled in by the glowing shelves of macarons overseen by the friendly Macaron Master (probably not his official title, but it seems applicable) I couldn't help but pick four macarons (out of at least 18 flavors, which you can find on their online shop) as part of my lunch.
The other major part of my meal would be satiated by a milk chocolate tart and a lemon tart. No, I did not eat both of these in their entirety (my gluttony can only go as far as my stomach will expand); I split them half and half with a friend. Both were composed of light, crunchy, buttery cookie-like crusts with perfect tenderness factors insuring that they wouldn't messily crumble upon fork poke-age nor be so hard that you couldn't break it apart with a reasonable amount of fork poke-age.
The fillings also had a perfect balance of characteristics by pairing just the right amount of sweetness with sour lemon or milk chocolate flavor. I was more enamored by the smooth, creamy lemon tart filling that seemed to give no resistance to the sinking in of my teeth, yet still felt substantial due to its solid texture.
My cherished macarons (nougat, orange cinnamon, passion fruit basil, caramel) were sadly not as awesome as the tarts. Whoever made the macarons must've been on some kind of sugar craze and jacked up the sweetness level beyond what even I—someone who would happily eat honey straight out of a jar—would find desirable. I wouldn't say that the flavors I chose were bad, just that the sweetness was a shock after eating the subdued tarts.
Down the street from Gerard Mulot is Pierre Marcolini, a name that has popped up many times in my numerous searches for chocolate destinations as "the best chocolatier in the world". But could anyone really know what the best chocolate in the world is? Wouldn't you have to eat it every single type of chocolate in existence? Does such a job exist? If so, can I have it?
As I wasn't planning on buying a piece of every available chocolate, it was hard to whittle down my options to a modest 5-piece box. After watching my friend and I stare at the sea of beautifully crafted chocolates for an excessive amount of time, the friendly shop clerk offered us samples. Samples? I obviously don't go to chocolatiers enough, as I had no idea that I was entitled to free samples. I think I could've gotten a box's worth of them if I had felt greedier. After trying one free sample (Tonka: dark chocolate truffle with salted-butter caramel infused with Tonka bean) and deciding, as the smooth liquid caramel seeped into my mouth-pores out of the crisp dark chocolate shell, that it was indeed awesome, I picked five other flavors.
There were free samples from his molecule collection at the register in case I needed more temptation. I surprisingly limited myself to one delicately crunchy praline-tastic piece to prevent my empty stomach from staging a revolt, even if my tastebuds wanted more.
I have no poetic chocolate descriptions to offer you, but I can assure you that these chocolates are damn tasty and eating them will result in the uncontrolled emittance of joyful moans that could be translated into, "Take my chocs and I will break your arm." Clockwise from the top left the flavors are:
Massepain Pistache: Provence marzipan, pistachio, dark chocolate 62% cocoa
Violette: Pure square chocolate infused with violet
Cendrillon Lait: Nougatine square chocolate with orange ganache, milk chocolate
Amandine Marcona: Sigared Marcona almond with a hint of lemon, coated with milk chocolate
Trianon Fondant: Caramel ganache with nougatine, coated with milk chocolate
Cendrillon Lait and Amandine Marcona were my favorites out of the box, but I won't know what my favorites out of the whole collection are until I try every single flavor. Only 30-something more pieces to go...
An NYC food blogger, currently studying non-foodie things in Paris, Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything shares her discoveries with Parisist every Monday while she explores all the eats that Paris has to offer.