March 18, 2006

April in Paris with chocolate

ench"...Chloé Doutre-Roussel, who is the esteemed chocolate-buyer for London's Fortnum & Mason, finally came out with the book she's spent a lifetime of tasting and working towards. The compact size of her book, The Chocolate Connoisseur, belies the depth of information within.
"The Chocolate Connoisseur is a must have for any chocolate lover, and it's my current bedside reading. Chloé, who was tapped to be the chocolate-expert by Pierre Hermé at Ladurée in Paris, was recently featured in the New York Times, and it's a sweet treat to read about her chocolate adventures. There's notes on tasting and sampling, comparison of brands with lots of opinions, a few decadent recipes, and some facts and fallacies explained and de-mystified. Very recommended reading for all."
This from David Lebovitz's blog, my new spring favorite and almost as good as being in Paris yourself. And from the Publisher's Weekly review at Amazon (see the link above),
Her approach is that of an unabashed and evangelical snob, a bracing combination of Mary Poppins and Miss Manners. Along the way, Doutre-Roussel skewers some sacred cows—Belgian chocolates, Godiva—and lists with approval a dozen brands most people have never heard of, with, fortunately, mail-order and online sources to find them and instructions on how to savor them when found. This is a beautiful little book, chockfull of charming pictures, maps, charts and graphs, sidebars and boxes of advice, lore and even a few recipes.
Since I have plans that prevent me from being in Paris next month, I will be indulging my spring fever and year-round chocolate fixation by tracking down a copy of The Chocolate Connoisseur, and seeing if I can convince French Family Friend (formerly French Houseguest) to send us another box of yummy chocolates, especially the ones with the raspberry centers.

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