Photo by Alban Couturier / Pierre Chauvet Chocolatier

10 am does not seem to be the best time of the day to taste fine chocolates and delicious ice-creams in an outdoor café but that’s what gourmet people (like us) do on sunny days, especially in Valence, gateway to the South, home of the Maison Pic and several others starred restaurants. For locals and tourists looking for a people-watching spot in the old town, Pierre Chauvet parlor and shop is the place to go with the famous Place des Clercs as setting and the chevet (east end) of Saint-Apollinaire Cathedral in sight.

Having an eye on the window display is itself committing a sin of gluttony. Let’s start by these eye-catching designed and colored thin chocolate squares presented as a “mille-feuille” (multi-layered) you probably never seen before (we have not). Each of the 20 layers offers a surprising and tasty blend between dark, milk, white chocolates and subtle flavors such as coriander and candied lemon, bergamot tea, spices, ginger with nuts and feuilletine, cocoa chips, orange peels, puffed rice, cashew and salt flower, red berries, coconut. “People love it as they can share it with family and friends, taste and guess aromas”, Pierre Chauvet told hi-Europe.

Photo by Alban Couturier / Pierre Chauvet Chocolatier

Background

Having an eye on the window display is itself committing a sin of gluttony. Let’s start by these eye-catching designed and colored thin chocolate squares presented as a “mille-feuille” (multi-layered) you probably never seen before (we have not). Each of the 20 layers offers a surprising and tasty blend between dark, milk, white chocolates and subtle flavors such as coriander and candied lemon, bergamot tea, spices, ginger with nuts and feuilletine, cocoa chips, orange peels, puffed rice, cashew and salt flower, red berries, coconut. “People love it as they can share it with family and friends, taste and guess aromas”, Pierre Chauvet told hi-Europe.

Photo by Alban Couturier / Pierre Chauvet Chocolatier

Chocolate Specialties

The best advice Pierre Chauvet got from his peers is to differentiate himself from others master chocolatier through creativity. He undoubtedly met and surpassed expectations. Even boxes of his traditional Grand cru chocolate have a bit of originality with a collection of colored half-spheres shaped like planets offering an extended and rich mouth feel: “A 2-year work”.

Mars is very tasty with a ganache made of organic Fairtrade grand cru from the Dominican Republic, woody notes and yellow fruits scents. For a connoisseur’s palate only. Neptune is exotic, melty and milky with caramel and passion fruit. Venus knows how to mix flavors. Its bitter dark chocolate goes well with the raspberry and lychee puree while Pluton offers a fine balance between acidity and sweetness with a combination of lime and caramel. Our vote goes to Jupiter: an exceptional praline with Piedmont nuts covered with a thin dark chocolate hull.

Pierre Chauvet developed a singular blend made of sub-Saharan African chocolate which have powerful and fleeting flavors. He also added South America and Asian chocolate to get typicality and long-lasting taste. Other specialties include a recipe of pecan nuts flavoured with salt flower as appetizer. “They make the perfect partner to a white or Champagne wine”.

Photo by Alban Couturier / Pierre Chauvet Chocolatier

Local and Fruity Ice-creams

Tasting ice-creams is (almost) as addictive as buying gourmet chocolates. The parlor juxtaposing the shop proposes a series of homemade ice-creams and sorbets made almost exclusively with local products starting with chestnuts, which have made the region famous for. Others flavours include wild blueberries, Stracciatella whose milk comes from Ardeche mountains or pear, our second favorite after chestnuts. “We try to preserve the natural taste and aromas of red William pears with a high fruit content, 72% to be precise, to reduce added sugar, improve texture so customers get the granular feeling as if they were eating the fruit”.

The production is limited, roughly 35 000 liters, but the ice-cream maker banks on high-quality natural products and semi-industrial equipment such as feed screw milling machines to stir in chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, pecans. Pierre Chauvet also makes ice-creams for local restaurants and cafés known as Glaces de l’Ardeche, a once dying ice-cream manufacturer Pierre Chauvet bought in 2017 and put back on track.

Website: https://www.pierrechauvet.com/

Photo by Alban Couturier / Pierre Chauvet Chocolatier

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