Archive for July, 2013

World’s best hot chocolate?

Posted in Around the world, junkfoodie Hall of Fame with tags , on July 15, 2013 by junkfoodie

Admittedly, I haven’t tried all the hot chocolate in the world, but for my money, the award goes to Angelina in Paris (226 Rue Rivoli). It looks like a dark, very traditional, stereotypically Parisian tea salon, which it is, but the hot chocolate is perfect.

Founded in 1903 by Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmeyer and named in honor of his daughter-in-law, Angelina is conveniently located on the Rue Rivoli directly across the street from the Tuileries gardens and the  Tuileries Metro stop. The beautiful Belle Epoque tea room serves breakfast, brunch, lunch as well as wonderful pastries and tea time snacks. The location is perfect after a visit to the Louvre or Tuileries, and is my favorite places anywhere for their house specialty, “Le chocolat chaud a l’ancienne dit l’Africain”, or old-fashioned hot chocolate “l’Africain”. At €7.90, it is not terribly expensive, and for my money is the most memorable way to spend $10 in Paris. I am not a big chocolate fan, but this hot chocolate is among the best in the world. It is thick, silky smooth and velvety rich. It is more chocolatey than milk chocolate, but not quite as deep as bittersweet chocolate- the perfect balance. Even if you are not a chocoholic, make sure to order one per person, do not split an order or share a cup, or you will regret it. Each serving comes in a cute little pot and is serves with a healthy portion of whipped heavy cream and a pitcher of water. Add one of Angelina’s fantastic pastries, and you have the perfect afternoon pick-me-up after a long day of sightseeing. Try their signature Mont blanc (€8.40) which is meringue, chantilly whipped cream and chestnut “vermicelli”, or my favorite, the Paris-New York (€8.40), which is almond choux pastry, crunchy almond and pecan praline and pecan praline light cream. At peak hours, or on weekends, the wait can be long, but it is worth the wait. Kill time watching the parade of Paris society ladies, clueless tourists, and curious foodie pilgrims in line with you. You can pick up decent hot chocolate mix to take home at the gift shop up front. Make sure to stop by the Hotel Meurice a few doors down to use their elegant restrooms before trekking back to your hotel.

Paris-New York from Angelina

Paris-New York from Angelina

Angelina's signature hot chocolate " a l'Africain"

Angelina’s signature hot chocolate ” a l’Africain”