Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – You still have a couple days left to sample artisanal chocolates and buy them at a discount at several chocolate boutiques in the region. Chocolate Week, the brainchild of Neuchatel’s chocolate-makers several years ago, was adopted by Vaud five years ago and more recently by Fribourg and Geneva. The idea is to introduce local chocolate lovers to hand-crafted chocolates, which not only taste good, but tend to use better products, have less sugar and lower fat content. Here’s the list of who is participating and what they’re offering in 2010. The chocolate week ends Saturday 6 November. Some of my favourites don’t take part officially, but they won’t object if we celebrate by stopping by.
Personally, I’ve done my bit by stopping in at Tristan’s chocolate boutique in Bougy-sur-Villars, one of my favourites in the region, where I stocked up on presents for the family (including me). He has two new chocolates which are now on my “best” list since my last visit in July, a dark chocolate with pecans with extraordinary flavour and a Cambodian pepper chocolate which is quite different from his Tasmanian or pimiento pepper chocolates. Less bite, more elegant pepper flavour and feel. I also bought rosemary, green tea in dark chocolate and myrtle chocolates.
Myrtle, if you’re not familiar with it and are seeing “myrte” in the shop, is not myrtille, or blueberry. Myrtle comes from a shrub, and is akin in flavour to juniper and rosemary. It was used years ago in making Italy’s famous mortadella, but juniper is more commonly used for that now.
I am heading out the door to Morges soon to try one of the Vaud bouchon specialties, which I’ve never had. I’ll report back soon on that, with a photo.
And lucky for me, one of the participating chocolatiers is in Saint Prex, Boillat, and they’re offering 10 percent off on chocolate, a dangerously good deal. We’re doubly blessed, with a second excellent chocolate maker, Alexandre, right in the old town section of Saint Prex, and his busy, tiny shop is one of the nicest places around for morning coffee. With a bit of chocolate, of course.
Not bad for a town of 5,000.
Warning: once you develop a taste for this kind of chocolate you may find it extremely difficult to settle for the popular big commercial brands, although I did just receive a last-minute additional request from an overseas family member to whom I am shipping some of Tristan’s chocolate, at his request: “The Lindt chocolate in the red package is really good. Like… Lindor but in bar form? Creamy in the middle? That one was really good, feel free to send some of that. I have finished all the chocolate you brought over by the way.”
Related news story on Barry Callebaut financial results, the International Cocoa Agreement, 4 November 2010