THE BELGIAN PIERRE MARCOLINI
opened his first store in Brussels in 1995, the same year he was named the World Champion of Pastry. A decade later we can find PIERRE MARCOLINI outlets in Paris, London, New York and Kuwait as well as several in Tokyo and numerous ones in Belgium. The secret of this meteoric rise lies in the fantastic creativity displayed by this master chocolatier. In his chocolates we find not only more unusual fruit, such as apple, pear, blackcurrent and melon but also ingredients such as pepper, chestnut, tonka beans and even patchouli, sandalwood and oak. Apart from a wide variety of chocolates, sweets and cakes, which often come in the form of seasonal collections, PIERRE MARCOLINI also sells a few bars and a tasting box, which will be the subject of our scrutiny. The tasting box, called Saveurs du Monde features single-origin "caraques" (small squares of chocolate), all 75%, from seven regions, which form the first seven of the entries below. (Note that one of the caraques has been replaced since we reviewed this box). PIERRE MARCOLINI now also has an impressive array of single origin bars, of which more details are given below.
Stores: PIERRE MARCOLINI has six stores in Brussels, a further four in the rest of Belgium, four in Tokyo and two in Paris, one in Kuwait, and one supplier in London:
Rue des Minimes 1, 1000 Brussels (Sablon), Tel: +3225141206
La Manufacture, Place du Grand Sablon 39, 1000 Brussels (Sablon), Tel: +3225131783
Avenue Louise 75M, 1050 Brussels, Tel: +3225384224
Avenue de Hinnisdael 14, 1150 Brussels, Tel: +3227712720
Chaussee de Waterloo 1302, 1180 Brussels, Tel: +3223721511
Boulevard de la Woluwe 18, 1150 Brussels, Tel: +3227712060
Antwerp: Huidevettersstraat 38--40, 2000 Antwerpen, Tel: +3232265001
Liege: Rue de la Regence 31, 4000 Liege, Tel: +3243499000
Namur: Rue Saint--Loup 4, 5000 Namur, Tel: +3281224422
Knokke: Elizabethlaan 5, 8300 Knokke Zoute, Tel: +3250602210
Paris: 89, Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, Tel: +33144073907
Paris: 3, Rue de Scribe, 75009 Paris, Tel: +33144710374
London: Verde & Co, 40 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6AG
5-5-8 Ginza, Chuo Ku, 104-0061 Tokyo, Tel: +81355370955
3-4-2 Haneda Airport Ota-Ku, 144-0041 Tokyo, Tel: +81357576220
Midland Square B1F, 4-7-1 Meleki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi 450-0002 Nagoya, Tel: 00 81 52 582 0456
Tokyo Station, JR higashinihon, Tokyo-eki kounai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku - Tokyo 100-000, Tel: +81 (0)3 5220 4560
Dar Al awadi Mall - Tower Lobby Shop 23, Ahmed Al Jaber street, Tel: +965 938 5800
Availability: PIERRE MARCOLINI chocolate can be bought online at the US, UK and Japanese websites, and is also found in a few gourmet food stores. Independent websites generally do not stock PIERRE MARCOLINI. Note that the selection available in the PIERRE MARCOLINI online shop is more limited than that of the boutiques.
click on countries of origin for more information
MADAGASCAR 75% Madagascar, Africa
Immensely strong fruit flavours of this caraque spread throughout the mouth and deliver a grandiose rich experience with a superb finish and fine aftertaste. Arguably the best of the seven varieties in this tasting box.
CHUAO 75% Venezuela, South America
The Chuao region in Venezuela is famous for its Criollo, and this chocolate sample excels with full and complex flavours, permeating the mouth with bitter yet sweet richness, and ending it all with a tremendous finish and an excellent aftertaste.
Update:This caraque has been replaced by the Brésil (Brazil). There is however a Chuao bar.
EQUATEUR 75% Ecuador, South America
A distinctive edge dominates the taste of this fairly bitter sample and delivers an intriguing tasting experience, which might however be not everyone's taste.
JAVA 75% Java, Indonesia
This sample exhibits distinctive sweet and rich flavours, with notes of fruit and a good finish, but a less developed aftertaste.
VENEZUELA 75% Venezuela, South America
Strong coffee flavours are present in this caraque, which make for a very pleasant taste but, while working well with this chocolate, also shroud the more subtle nuances of its flavour.
GHANA 75% Ghana, West Africa
This Ghanaian sample is a very solid performance with a sweet flavours of fruit and a decent finish. While it is by all means satisfying, there is not much to learn and explore in terms of new and different chocolate flavours.
TRINIDAD 75% Trinidad, South America
This is a classic full-bodied and rich flavour with notes of fruit, and exhibits a fine finish and excellent aftertaste.
In addition to the tasting box with the above caraques, PIERRE MARCOLINI also sells the Mexique, Java, Brésil, Equateur and Madagascar bars with 72%. In addition the range usually includes limited edition single-origin bars at any given time. Furthermore he offers two bars named Grand Cru Cabosse and Fleur de Cacao (to be reviewed) as well as other bars which we do not review, with added ingredients such as hazelnuts, pecan nuts, cocoa nibs, and orange and lemon peel.