Puyricard: makers of perfect chocolate in the French tradition

I’m told by the folks at the Quote of the Day service that it’s “National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day!” That immediately brought to mind my visit to the Chocolaterie de Puyricard in the tiny village of Puyricard, France, as Puyricard is famous for its Mendiants — magnificent dark chocolate disks covered with nuts and raisins. They are delicious and not sweet at all. One of my favourite chocolate treats! Have you had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into a mendiant?

This post is a nice transition from our last few focusing on Belgium, as Puyricard Chocolatier was founded by a Belgian couple who had moved to the south of France in 1967 to pursue their dream of opening a chocolaterie.

the staff at Puyricard make the chocolates by hand for your enjoyment

Chocolaterie de Puyricard now has 17 locations in France plus a New York-based exclusive order service for North American clients under the name of Puyricard Signature. Puyricard’s Signature is an online club we chocolate lovers can join to gain access to a limited line of exquisite French-tradition chocolates produced under the direction of master chocolatier, Tanguy Roelandts, son of the founders of the company, Jean-Guy and Marie-Anne Roelandts.

The creative team at Puyricard are masters at what they do: combining fabulous French chocolate with the best fresh ingredients to enhance it. That includes cherries they grow themselves, apples grown just 70 miles from the plant, the very best almonds from Spain, hazelnuts from Italy, vanilla from Tahiti – all fresh and used without preservatives. So only a small selection of the 100 different confections made in France are available in North America, giving you more of an incentive to head to France and taste and enjoy the best of the best right where it is made and created.

the packaging at Puyricard is as beautiful as the chocolates

The packaging at Puyricard is just as elegant as the chocolates and changes with the seasons. Both the outside and the inside of the package will fill you with awe — and bring you great pleasure.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

14 Responses

  1. Lee says:

    Hi Doreen
    I just came over from your other blog. I have such fond memories of France not due to its fine chocolate. But the canals that run through it. We spent a summer taking out boat from the English Channel right through the centre of France and out in to the Mediterranean. Such a great trip. Lee
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  2. Thanks for stopping in, Barb.

    Yes, I much prefer the pure style of chocolate making one finds in France, Italy and Spain as opposed to the smoother, more processed style you find in Belgium, Switzerland, Holland and Germany. But it’s all about personal taste, and just as with wine … there is no “best.” it’s all according to one’s personal preferences.

    And that’s not to say that BE, SW, NL and GE don’t have amazing chocolatiers who are producing a less sweet chocolate, as they certainly do, and I’ve introduced readers to some of them in previous posts.

    Thanks again for introducing me to Puyricard. They are indeed one of the best!

  3. Barbara Edie says:

    Ah yes, Puyricard chocolate – still my favourite in all of Europe, even more than Suisse and Belgian chocolate. But I’m a bit bias, having lived close to the Puyricard “chocolaterie” and shopped there often. Thanks for the delicious reminder and article.
    And all the best with the continued “chocolatour.”

  4. Thanks for joining the conversation, Liz and Adeline.

    Liz: Puyricard Signature does ship within Canada and the US. Check the link in the blog post.

    And Adeline: Be sure to tell Santa you want some of the good stuff! No more bargain brand chocolate for you!

    • Adeline says:

      Hahaha!!! I’d love to get my hands on a basket full of tablea chocolate. It’s pure dark chocolate that they make here in the Philippines that they usually use for hot chocolate. Really good and yummy!!!

  5. Adeline says:

    Now I know what to ask Santa for Christmas…if only he were real though. Okay…time for me to look for some chocolate to munch on again.

  6. Liz Palmer says:

    Hi Doreen, Happy “National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day!!” – what a mouthful. Hope you had a wonderful day. I love the idea that this chocolate house does not use preservatives only fresh ingredients. Will they be opening a location in Canada? Liz

  7. mike54martin says:

    OMG. Mendiants!! I’m a sweet milky choco kinda guy but I could go for a few of thsoe babies!! One question. Why are you here and not here?

    • Hey, Mike! Once you develop your palate for good chocolate, you will never eat the sweet stuff again! It’s a slow process, just like developing your palate for fine wine, but boy … is it worth it!

      Do you mean why am I here in NA and not over in France? Well, it’s my job to eat chocolate around the world, so I’m always in search of amazing chocolate. Next trip up is Missouri in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to that as there are amazing chocolate makers on both sides of the pond!

  8. Kathe says:

    I met a young French woman the other day who grew up in Nice and is now studying at McGill. I told her about our “chocolatour” and it turns out that even growing up in the south of France, she hadn’t heard of Puyricard. They’re quite exclusive.

    The mendiants hold a special place in my memory as well, Doreen. I remember rationing out the last remaining chocolates from Puyricard when we returned, and sighing sadly when they were all gone.

    Susan, that’s a big question. I particularly enjoyed the products made by some of the smaller Belgian chocolatiers, the ones Doreen has written about here, but the French make some marvellous chocolate too, and Puyricard certainly falls under that category.

    • Thanks to Kathe and Susan for joining the discussion, and to Kathe, for having joined me on the maiden voyage of chocolate discoveries – which included Puyricard – a word, place and chocolaterie’s name I still have trouble spelling to this day!

      Susan: there is NO best chocolate. Every country has someone – a chocolate master, maker or chocolatier making great chocolate, and it is all a situation of very personal taste.

      In my book, I am profiling the countries that are home to what are the best and most innovative chocolate makers IN MY OPINION.

      It is my goal to encourage readers to try different chocolate, to savour the flavour, and above all … to enjoy.

  9. Susan Oakes says:

    I love dark chocolate. A quick question for you is which is the best chocolate French or Belgium?

  10. Amberr Meadows says:

    Yum, I love bittersweet chocolate with almonds. You just have the sweetest posts. Yes, pun intended. ;-D

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