Normandy is a great place to be at Easter (or Pâques as it’s known in France) what with all that tasty French chocolate to eat! But did you know that becoming a chocolatier takes a lot of training and the average French person eats 7kg of chocolate every year?
Chocolate first came to France in 1615 as a gift from Anne of Austria to her husband-to-be, King Louis XIII, and grew in popularity, with chocolate shops opening across France and the act of giving chocolate to loved ones becoming the done thing.
Today, the chocolatier tradition lives on in France. Normandy alone boasts a vast number of chocolateries, patisseries and confiseries, each with their own specialties. These shops love to pull out all the stops when it comes to Easter, filling their mouth-watering window displays with not only the traditional eggs, bells and bunnies, but also with some more original creations! Here are five of our favourites:
Le traditionnel: Olivier Deschamps (Pont-Audemer)
Popular chocolaterie and patisserie Olivier Deschamps in the pretty riverside town of Pont-Audemer has gone for all the classics, opting for traditional eggs galore (a traditional symbol of new life, did you know) and a proverbial chick or two.
Le printemps: Laloué (L’Aigle)
Spring has certainly sprung in chocolaterie Laloué in L’Aigle, with an altogether more botanic selection of chocolate to choose from. We think the seasonal showstopper surely has to be the imaginative milk and dark chocolate lily of the valley flower pots!
Le Lego: A la Duchesse de Berry (Dieppe)
Not content with Easter eggs alone, quirky chocolaterie A la Duchesse de Berry in Dieppe has given Lego the lead role in this year’s window display – after all, who doesn’t like Lego? Perfect all ages, these sweet treats also feature some furry friends for good measure.
L’agneau pré-salé: La Maison du Biscuit (Sortosville-en-Beaumont)
The Easter lamb famously represents Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice for mankind, but we’d also like to think of this little chocolate version on its green field in the Maison de Biscuit as a subtle nod to the pré-salé lambs living on the marshland near local landmark, the Mont-Saint-Michel.
La Normande: Témoins (Caen)
You can’t get more Norman than the Normande cow, a breed renowned for its delicious creamy milk. Lovingly crafted by Témoins in Caen, this tasty chocolate version is flanked by a mandatory hen and two bells, bien sûr.
For more information on what to see and do in Normandy this Easter weekend, visit the Normandy Tourist Board website.
Cover photo © La Maison du Biscuit / Normandy Tourist Board | Text: Fran Lambert