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Well, blogosphere, summer has finally arrived in Paris, and boy, am I glad that I only have *counts* ten full days left (non-consecutive) in my little brick oven of a room. I am currently sitting here with my fan blowing tepid air on me full blast and my computer on my lap, after having walked around the 12ème arrondissement and taken lots of public transportation, periodically wrinkling my forehead to crack the layer of salt that has dried there. I’ve heard that ladies don’t sweat, they glow (or something), but I am emphatically sweaty.

However, all hope is not lost, because there is some really great chocolate to be had in Paris. I know, I know, but this is a new one!


This afternoon, I met up with my friend Tricia at Puerto Cacao in the 12ème, métro Ledru-Rollin. Tricia and I met when we went to see Nixon in China at Théâtre du Châtelet, back in April, and we’ve been trying to get together for ages, with no success due to our respective wacky schedules. But today we finally managed it, and had a fabulous chocolate adventure.

I actually read about this place ages ago, on My Little Paris, when a friend of mine told me I absolutely had to check it out. I didn’t find the Chocoubli lollipop that is featured in the article, but Tricia and I split a slice of fondant au chocolat–not originally in our plan, but so enticing in their case right by the door!–and a chocolate milkshake, plain, though there are a number of flavoring options as well, including cannelle (cinnamon), menthe (mint), and cumin (self-explanatory).

Cake! (Digression: I watched one of my favorite episodes of Sports Night last night, “And the Crowd Goes Wild.” It’s one of my favorites because William H. Macy uses the phrase “the hypocrisy of cake.”)

Milkshake and two straws! It tasted like a liquid brownie, delicious, but also reminded me a lot of Serendipidity’s famous frozen hot chocolate, in New York City. But this is quite a bit cheaper and more, er, artisanal.

This is Tricia, who is very happy about chocolate.

The truc of Puerto Cacao (I tried to come up with an English word in that sentence, but “conceit” feels too negative and “gimmick” just makes me think of strippers…”concept,” maybe?) is all-natural ingredients and fair-trade chocolate. We perused the shelves of chocolate products for a few minutes before sitting down, and everything looked phenomenal–lots of different chocolate bars with fruit, nuts, or sea salt, candied fruit covered in chocolate, various types of chocolate bark. I think a second trip there is in order–if only it weren’t quite so inconvenient to get to!

We sat and chatted for a couple of hours, and then made our way to Bastille to get on the train. Once on the platform for line 5 to Place d’Italie, I made a bee-line for the vending machine to get a bottle of water, because all of that chocolate plus the heat and the sweat was making me feel a little woozy–and that’s when I found, like the poor courier at the end of The Search for Delicious (to continue in the kid lit theme of this week!), that there is nothing like very cold water on a hot day. Parfait!