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French "Chocolate Munchers" turn snacking into a fine art

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First study the colour, then the nose, the structure and taste: as with any good wine, tasting chocolate is both a treat and serious, requiring regular practice to fine-tune the senses. And one exclusive Paris chocolate club has it down to a fine art.

French "Chocolate Munchers" turn snacking into a fine art. 

Welcome to the high temple of cocoa-lovers, an exclusive club in Paris known as the Chocolate Munchers.

Members come here to taste the latest achievements and experimental creations of France's master chocolatiers.

For them, chocolate isn't just a guilty snack -- it's a treat for the whole body and soul.

Segolene Leroy with Chocolate Muncher said, "It's really good for me -- for morale, for the pleasure of seeing other people here, and especially for tasting chocolate because that's always something that's very positive, very beneficial."

Truffles, mousses, biscuits, ice-creams, there's a chocolate here for every taste. Founded 30 years ago, the club now has 150 members who come together five times a year.

The time-honoured ritual is always the same: peel the chocolate off with a knife, to check its composition; eat it reverently; and then cleanse your palate with some bread and water.

Like a fine wine, what you're enjoying should have a rich and complex taste.

Pierre Herme with Chocolatier said, "There are all the criteria of taste, enjoyment and texture. There's the smell. There are a lot of signs to detect a good dark chocolate."

Christian Constant with Chocolatier said, "I'm the son and grandson of wine-makers, so for me wine has always been the foundation of my taste for chocolate, because I quickly realized that there are lots of analogies between the two."

But despite its exclusive character, club members say there's really no need to be an expert. The most important thing here is that you love gratifying your taste-buds with as much good chocolate as you can get your hands on.


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