There seems to be an influx of imported goodies for me in the last little while – I’m not complaining! – and this week I have goodies from Paris: Bernachon Chocolate.

Having heard much about them, I was excited to try their chocolate. You see, they’re not just chocolatiers (people who melt and re-make them into lovely treats), they are also chocolate makers – roasting and grinding the beans themselves. And I do love me some chocolate.

Now, I generally lean towards shops/brands that make their own chocolate. Scharffen Berger in San Francisco does this (inspired by Bernachon‘s bean-to-bar philosophy), my favourite, DeVries, (no longer in production *sob*) does this as well. Locally, SOMA in the Distillery makes their own and has a large and lovely window to their workspace so you can to check out the process. Amadei, Pralus, Domori, and Valrhona are all chocolatiers as well.

Soon after I started getting into chocolate, foodie friends and I decided to pool our chocolate together and do a tasting.... But that's a story for another day.

I’ve mentioned that I don’t like most chocolate desserts and it’s due to the fact that I’d rather eat a single square of awesome dark chocolate than I would a wimpy bowl of chocolate mousse or the ubiquitous and dull molten chocolate cake. Like wine, chocolate will have different flavours according to their bean origin and this is usually what distinguishes things for me. I mentioned that DeVries had been a favourite – in particular, the Dominican bar. I am quite sad I never got around to getting more, despite the high cost of shipping to Canada (sigh. import fees.). But it was lovely – fruity and nutty and smooth. It’s my current benchmark.

So onward to the bars of Bernachon.

On the left is Pepitos – a dark chocolate with a nuttiness added by cacao nibs. I really enjoy cacao nibs and well, dark chocolate. Amandine, on the right, had roasted almonds which gave the milk chocolate a nice toasty flavour. But Ivoire was my favourite (I know, after all that talk about dark chocolate!) because it isn’t that overly-sweet white chocolate we find here. Instead, it’s creamy and almost buttery. Really lovely. I would get this again to share with others and spread the love.

In addition to the chocolate, some salted caramels from Le Roux came back as well. With the addition of nuts, this had a nice chew to it. I do love me some salted caramel!

And you know what? I hear there’s a salted caramel bar called Kalouga that Bernachon has. Chocolate and salted caramel!?  SAY NO MORE (well, I will say Sen5es sells Thomas Haas‘ very yummy salted caramel truffle). Sadly, no other friends are slated to go to France any time soon. I guess I’ll have to make the trip to Lyon if I really want to try it.

Yeah, not complaining about that either. Now to figure out how to make that reality!

More chocolate on flickr:

[flickr-gallery mode=”tag” tags=”haas,bernachon,pralus,amadei,pralus,domori,valrhona”]