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Chocolat Michel Cluizel

After reading my post on Macaron Day, the wonderful Chocolat Michel Cluizel invited my friend Ann and me to a chocolate and macaron tasting at its Fifth Avenue store. Umm… YES PLEASE!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

The store manager, Michele, is the sweetest woman, and you can tell she’s really passionate about Michel Cluizel chocolate.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Michele told us about how Michel Cluizel (not to be confused with Michele!) established his family business in Damville, Normandy. According to her, his focus has always been on pure ingredients in everything that goes into the chocolate, and absolutely no emulsifiers. For example, Michel Cluizel chocolate would never contain vanilla extract, only vanilla taken directly from a vanilla pod.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

After Michele helped us make choices, we excitedly sat down to our desserts!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

First, Ann tried the Cacaoforté. This is 99% dark chocolate, and she definitely tasted the difference in ingredient quality. She described it as airy dark chocolate.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Another pretty chocolate was the Palet Mokaya. It’s pretty awesome: this chocolate was derived from one type of bean made in one plantation in Mexico. This way, the Cluizel family controls the quality of the bean, and can develop a relationship with the farmer. It’s the same attention to detail that goes into making wine, only this time with chocolate!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I began tasting the macarons, and started with my favorite flavor, pistachio, obviously.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann also tasted the Butter Salted Caramel (Guérande Lait if you want to impress with your French!). Unlike most salted caramels, at Michel Cluizel the salt is mixed in so that the chocolate is not as sweet. And of course the family knows where the ingredients come from: Guérande, France, which is famous for its salt!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I loved the blueberry macaron. It tasted just like pie, and you can definitely tell that it’s made with real fruit!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann’s favorite chocolates were the pralines. The first one she tried was the Praliné Royal Lait. Michel Cluizel chocolate is unique in that the hazelnuts and almonds are caramelized first instead of at the end of the process. Ann said that this one was phenomenal!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

The other praline was green (official name: Forestière), and looked pretty cool. It’s a croquant filled with finer nuts than the previous praline.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I tried the coconut macaron next. I don’t normally like coconut-flavored desserts, but because this was made with real coconut shavings it was delicious and super moist.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

All of the chocolates were pretty, but we adored the Cappucino chocolate! Too cute!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I love this picture of Ann!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

The Champignon Bolet was shaped like a little mushroom!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I loved the raspberry macaron, and couldn’t get over how much it tasted like real raspberries! Now if only real raspberries tasted just like this macaron…

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann of course had to try a truffe, and, of course, she loved it!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I don’t normally enjoy rose-flavored desserts, because they usually taste too perfume-y. So I was pleasantly surprised when this rose macaron was light and tasty, without the hint of perfume sprayed directly in your mouth.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann liked the Figaro (and I liked the name!) which had vanilla pod and chocolate gianduja.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

The lavender macaron was gorgeous, and didn’t have the perfume-y problem either.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

The Perles Ivoire is a praline coated with white chocolate. It didn’t make for the most exciting photograph, but it made up for that in taste!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

My favorite macaron of the day was the almond. It actually has me questioning whether or not pistachio is still my favorite macaron flavor…

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

All in all, Ann loved the chocolate, and could definitely taste a difference. The flavor in Michel Cluizel chocolate is stronger and more distinct, and each piece tastes delicate. I also could taste a difference in the macarons, and loved that each flavor tasted exactly like the real thing. Thank you Michele!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

We were both impressed with the entire experience, and I highly recommend Michel Cluizel. You can find the New York store here, or order chocolate online here.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

Feeling daring? The website also has recipes for you to make with Michel Cluizel chocolate!

Chocolat Michel Cluizel - New York City dining tips - Wanderlust in the City

I feel a new recipe post coming on…

~A

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