I have always loved going to Europe and for me an extra special reason to pay our neighbours a visit is to also take in the fabulous local chocolate shops. Why is it that France and Belgium have wonderful chocolate shops on every corner and as soon as you enter the shop you are greeted with the most amazing aroma. I could never enter one of those shops and leave empty handed!
On a recent trip to Normandy where we were enjoying a wonderful family holiday I persuaded (not much persuasion needed!) Mr C and juniors to accompany me to a visit of the Michel Cluizel factory and the utterly fantastic shop.
Michael Cluizel imports cocoa from Venezuela, Java, Ghana, Madagascar and Ecuador, and produces his chocolate in the plant in southern Normandy. With cocoa percentages ranging from 33 to 99, there is something for everyone. The problem is being able to resist the temptation of buying one of everything!
On arrival at the plant you can follow the exhibition which teaches you all about chocolate and even shows you some of the old equipment that was used. You can then watch a short film about the creation of Cluizel’s chocolate and the family behind the brand. It really is amazing and very enjoyable. After that the tour takes you through the factory itself where you see some of the employees making huge quantities of chocolates by hand. I watched through the perspex screen for ages until I really couldn’t expect my family to stay any longer!
Overall it was totally brilliant and if you are ever remotely near enough to justify a visit then you won’t be disappointed. Michael Cluizel’s chocolate has got to be ranked within the best in the world.