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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!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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I love this picture of Ann!

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The Champignon Bolet was shaped like a little mushroom!

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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…

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

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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.

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

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

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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

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I feel a new recipe post coming on…

~A

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