Jacques Genin, Paris, France

Jacques Genin 133, rue de Turenne, Paris 3, 01-45-77-29-01

Parisians love chocolate, a passion that is reflected by the hundreds of chocolate shops the city boasts. In the neighborhood where my husband and I stay, you can barely walk a couple of blocks without finding a store displaying “les chocolats.” As a bona fide chocoholic, I’ve done my share of sampling in some superb chocolate houses, but recently my friend, Joan, who lives in France’s capital most of the year, introduced me to Jacques Genin, a fairly new chocolate shop in the Marais.

Opened at the end of 2008, this spacious shop is spare and modern so that the chocolates, caramels, jellied candies, and pastries can take center stage. The founder and skilled “chocolatier,” Jacques Genin, is a master of taste combinations and creative designs. You’ll want to try every one of the exquisite chocolates delicately arranged in the cases, and be tempted by the creamy caramels and the sugar-coated jellies too.

The store includes a tea salon where you can sample not only chocolates, but scrumptious pastries as well. We ordered one of the famous caramel éclairs and one of the millefeuille, which are prepared right on the spot, and savored every guilty mouthful. If you purchase a box of chocolates, you’ll love the packaging. After your selections have been made, the sales staff will carefully place the chocolates in a lovely silver-colored metal box, and then slip that into an attractive bag.

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