After two weeks of unbearable heat, the air is finally cool in Paris. Earlier this morning, a storm ripped the sky open, and until a few minutes ago rain pounded the zinc rooftops and the wind nearly tore our curtains from the window. As I walk along the perimeter of the Luxembourg Gardens, the air is filled with the familiar smell of wet grass. Finally my appetite has returned, and I walk faster at the thought of the Tablette du Samedi I've ordered from Jean-Charles Rochoux.
Rochoux is a talented chocolatier who is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Though his boutique is located on the very chic rue d'Assas, it is as unpretentious and simple as his website—both perfect representations of his work. Here you're welcomed with a smile, and refreshingly absent is the arrogance and snobbery one often finds in gourmet shops in Paris.
The first Rochoux chocolate I ever tasted was his now iconic 70-percent chocolate bar filled with semi-liquid caramel. It is packaged in a silver cardboard box embossed with a barely perceptible pattern of crocodile skin. The contrast between the slight flash in his packaging and the subtly designed chocolate comes as an echo of a recurrent theme in Rochoux's art—contrasts between the firm chocolate and the soft caramel, between sweet and bitter.