You miss out if you go to France but fail to enjoy their chocolate shops. Such is the value placed on quality chocolate that most French towns have their own chocolatier dedicated to meeting the population’s every chocolate need.
The fact that chocolates have their own dedicated shops in France says something about what you can expect to find inside. Chocolate-making is a respected art-form in France and all sorts of impressive creations can be discovered inside the country’s many little chocolate-treasure-troves.
Obviously being such a big fan I made sure that I paid a visit to Joel Durand’s chocolate shop when in Saint-Remy de Provence recently and I was not disappointed.
|Chocolatier Joel Durand, Saint Remy de Provence, France|
As I entered the shop the air-conditioned coolness enveloped me and the scent of chocolate went straight to my head. I responded to a friendly Bonjour from the lady shopkeeper and headed to a magnificent arrangement of chocolates. Each was exactly the same small tile-shape but with a different letter or mark of punctuation on the top indicating the flavour. Such an understated design had to be expensive. I gulped.
While I was taking it all in the shopkeeper placed several chocolates on a tray as an example to taste. After some consultation of the menu explaining the flavours I tried one and finding it divine, I tried another, and then one more. Much as I could have gobbled the lot I suspected that doing so would be frowned upon and somehow managed to resist. It was not easy.
|Joel Durand chocolates, France|
I bought a selection of chocolates and it was as much as I could do to keep from tearing them open and scoffing the lot as I crossed the town square.
They were beautiful and they lasted all of an hour.