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CHOCOLATE … a long story.... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Published by Alejandra Saenz de Miera
Date 11/02/2021

Once upon a time in my country of origin, Mexico, there was an interesting exchange between Europeans and the local population. The visitors were introduced to an extremely precious drink: the xocoatl. This drink was bitter and spicy. This potion was stimulating and appreciated by the nobles but only available to a few; even the cacao seeds were used as currency and that is how this raw material arrived in Europe.

Chocolate drinkers in Europe XVIIIth c. (anonymus)
Chocolate drinkers in Europe XVIIIth c. (anonymous) © wikicommons

Fortunately, once in Europe the precious bitter drink was combined with a fashionable ingredient, sugar, and some spices were added too. This is how hot chocolate became a famous drink in European courts.

Chocolate set from Queen Marie Leszczynska
Chocolate set from Queen Marie Leszczynska
© Press release Château de Versailles

France is a serious consumer of chocolate in.It holds the 7th place in the world with an annual consumption of more than 6 kilos per person. This figure increases during the Easter and Christmasholidays,not forgetting Valentine’s Day where second to flowers, chocolates are a popular present.

Rubik’s cube by Chocolate maker Jean Pierre Rodrigues
“Rubik’s cube” by Chocolate maker Jean Pierre Rodrigues
© wikicommons

There are many chocolate shopsand chocolate makersare ina fierce competition fornew ideas, combinations of flavours, and novel ways of presenting products to be tested by us, consumers.

Every year a “Salon” brings togethermore than 100,000 visitors, some 230 stands and a chocolate fashion show!

A contest takes place with prizes for 9 categories awarded by a very enthusiasticjury.

Besides the “Salon” the contest “MeilleurOuvrierde France » (best artisan) has a chocolate producer category.

Some incredibly famous names have won this title, among them:

  • Jean Pierre RICHARD
  • Patrick ROGER
  • Nicolas CLOISEAU

Chocolate sculpture by Martin DUCOUT
Chocolate sculpture by Martin DUCOUT
© wikicommons

The list of chocolate experts is long, I suggest you try them all! You can refer to the serious “Guide des croqueurs de chocolat”, or ask your tourist guide, of course.

Some famous stars like Mick Jagger have their favorites. Mick will not leave Paris without at least 1 kilo of Jacques GENIN’s chocolate.

Enjoy this image of a masterpiece by Patrick ROGER. As renowned “chocolatier” the challenge is to find new ideas. It is always a pleasure to visit his boutiques.

patrick roger press release
© patrick roger press release

There is a Chocolate Museum, extremely popular with our guests and with the tourist guides. You can see historical pieces, taste the different types of chocolate, and even make your own.

And yet another hard moment in the life of a tourist guide: Food tours with chocolate tasting stopovers… can you call this a job?

Alejandra Saenz de Miera

FEG – FNGIC/France Delegate

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