Travel Through Plates

When a plate of food is put before me, I photograph it immediately. This blog, decodes my favorite dishes. It's a happy blog, as I predominantly show you pictures of the winners, the ones I love,

My Greatest Plates!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tristan my favorite Swiss Chocolate Shop!

First some good news, usually when you read about some new foody place it's spot that you really have no chance to get to! Well not this time; today I write about a place that you may well have driven by without even knowing that it exists. If you ever find yourself driving from Geneva to anywhere you are not far, if your drive takes you from Geneva to Lausanne, you have passed by. Our subject today is located between the villages of Rolle and Aubonne about 5 minutes from these motorway exits. The village (actually smaller than a village) is Bougy-Villars, this is blink and you'll miss it territory. A place that has become famous for being the home of the most perfect confectioner I know. Mr Tristan Carbonatto - the shops proper title is - Tristan Artisan Chocolatier. To give you some perspective, this tiny weeny hamlet has had to build a six car parking lot to ease the traffic that can and often does bring this place to a choco saturday standstill. Folks from all over Switzerland and I surmise beyond seek him out and for good reason. I am convinced that the size of the operation (Miniscule) is a contributing factor to the shear artistry, innovation and taste of this bounty.

Tristan is a wonderful happy cheery man, who generously offers samples of all his wears willingly as if he wants you to enjoy and take you on his chocolate trip.

His crown jewel is The Pave, little cubes of chocolate, 74%, 53%, Milk 32% and white about size of a sugar lump, a perfect cube of chocolate mastery. As the pave hits your palate things start to happen as the cube melts onto your tongue, the black 74% strikes the perfect balance of chocolate and acid, the slight bitterness is offset by the restrained use of sugar which allows the cocoa bean to star. As you try the 53%, certainly still dark and a long way still from Milk Chocolate the blackish bitters give way to rich unctuous flower or berry like tones. It's quite extraordinary to me how the melting aspect of these chocolates, the mouth feel; contributes greatly to the overall soaring satisfaction one gets from popping one of these beauties. The white Pave, tastes like chocolate butter, your tongue is coated much in the same way as a raw lip feels relived once the chapstick is finally applied;  soothing, calming, coating with stratospheric, unctuous lingering... Are you getting my drift? The Paves have no cream which delineate them from Truffles also on offer.

Close up of Pistachios and White Chocolate Paves (Click for to see even closer)
No you can't have any of mine!!

His caramel truffle is explosive, a touch of sea salt kisses the almost burnt darkness of the dusky caramel, for almost two minutes after I had swallowed this truffle I was still getting secondary and tertiary flavor memories, not dissimilar to watching dying embers languishing in the fireplace giving off a smoky memory of the fire it once was.
The PAVE's resting comfortably!

Everything is beyond what you know! I have particular hankering for candied sicilian pistachios, they are dipped in the darkest of dark chocolate enrobing this green jewel with a handsome robe of coco. These dusky babies are not made for sharing at all, they make you completely selfish. You'll  prefer to save what you can't finish to eat alone later. I bought chocolate for some business acquaintances and about three miles past the shop I decided I would not give any away. It's hard even to imagine sharing chocolate this good with your own children!

Tristan's "simple" tablets with almonds or hazelnuts rewrite what you know about this chocolate bar, the perfect nut roasting to marry the chocolate. Today I'm writing about his staples but he is a fantasist and accordingly the shops filled with cocoa whimsy.

PS On Tuesday's they are officially closed but production and mis en place is in full swing so knock on the door next to the shop and they willingly let you in backstage and will willingly sell to you.

Grand Rue
CH 1172 Bougy Villars
Closed Sunday - Monday - Tuesday
Opening hours 10h-12h - 13h30-18h30
Saturdays open without interruption NB SATURDAYS IS OFTEN PACKED!!!!

(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)


  1. love it! can't wait to go back
    best yael

  2. Thank you for sharing. A chocolate enrober will remove all the manual labor involved with hand dipping products into chocolate. They also will chocolate enrobe the product more evenly than when performed by hand.