This week I had a unique and amazing opportunity to visit the factory of my favorite chocolatier, Patrick Roger. He is well-known in France and makes beautiful, fine chocolates and chocolate sculptures.
In 2000, Roger won the title of a very famous award in France: Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier. He had to prepare for months to earn the title of the best Chocolatier in France in 2000. To watch a video tour of his factory, click here.
As soon as I stepped inside the chocolate factory, the delicious smell of chocolate enveloped me. We were very fortunate that the famous chocolatier gave my in-laws and me a personalized tour of the building where all of Roger’s chocolates are created.
We got to see each elaborate step for creating the chocolates. Roger also showed us his studio where he creates his chocolate sculptures. Roger uses the waste, or chocolate that is not good enough to consume, to create his sculptures. He loves to design sculptures inspired by nature, including animals such as gorillas. You can tell from his chocolates that his work is his passion. And creating delicious chocolates is an art.
The entire tour was in French and Roger spoke very quickly so I unfortunately did not understand much. Most everything I learned is through my husband who translated for me. I luckily had the opportunity to take many pictures. Please scroll down to see some images and learn a little more about the process.
All of the chocolates in this factory are hand made. You can tell a lot of care goes into creating these incredible desserts. First the chocolate is stirred to make sure it’s the same consistency and temperature.
Once the chocolate is ready, it’s poured into a machine to begin the process of shaping the ganache, (or inner layer of the chocolates). The ganache is created in batches 150,000 – 300,000 per week depending on the season and demand.
Flavors are added to the ganache and cut into perfectly shaped squares.
Once the ganache is complete, it’s time to add the outer layer or chocolate coating (enrobage). The enrobage can take up to three days to create.
As a consumer (and dark chocolate lover), it is most important to note that chocolate should be stored in your home between 15 – 19 degrees celsius (or 59 – 66.2 degrees fahrenheit) and consumed at 19 degrees celsius (or 66.2 degrees fahrenheit). After 21 degrees (or 69.8 degrees fahrenheit), the chocolate starts to lose its structure and begins to melt.
Here’s an example of a Patrick Roger box of chocolates available for purchase (and consumption):
Luckily for us, we didn’t leave the tour empty handed. Patrick Roger gave us a beautiful (and delicious) chocolate Christmas tree to take home!