The chocolate company Richart was founded by Joseph Richart in 1925 in the city of Lyon. Today it is owned by the son, Michel, and has expanded into several franchise boutiques throughout the world, including shops in the United States, Spain, Italy, Morocco, South Korea, and France (with two shops in Paris).
We stopped by the boutique located at 258, boulevard Saint-Germain and purchased a ballotin (small box) of assorted ganaches, or filled chocolates. The company produces seven different types of ganaches, and under the heading of each type, it produces seven varieties. For example, under the “roasted” category, one finds seven different roasted fillings, including grilled almond, grilled coffee, and grilled sesame seed.
Given that seven different varieties of seven different types of ganache equal forty-nine different chocolates, we decided to purchase a small box that contained a small sample of most of the types. For a box of sixteen tiny ganaches, weighing four grams each, we paid 11.90€—roughly $7.50 an ounce! The sixteen pieces of chocolate in our collection represented six of the seven types of ganache: floral, fruity, citrus, roasted, herbal, and spice.
Each piece of chocolate is in the shape of a die, and within the thick walls of each die lies a perfumed filling.
We began with floral, for which there were two varieties: exotic bouquet and violet. The exotic bouquet had a light, gelatinous interior whose flavor was indeed exotic, but we could not precisely identify the taste. The violet ganache had a mild violet flavor.
The two varieties of herbal, matcha tea and star aniseed, had distinctive, identifiable flavors. The matcha tea variety was visually distinctive with a green filling.
Next, we tasted the fruit ganaches of which there were four: current, blueberry, strawberry, and chestnut. The current and blueberry had the strongest, most-distinctive flavors. The strawberry filling had a creamy, pink color and mild flavor. The chestnut filling was weakly flavored, in our opinion.
Citrus was next with two varieties. The bouquet d’Hespéridés (citrus bouquet) had a light, liquid, citrus interior. The orange zest had an assertive flavor, with a light orange-yellow color.
In the roasted selection, there were four varieties. The almond had a light pasty interior; the walnut a creamy paste with an assertive flavor; the pistachio was the least strongly flavored; and the caramel was quite assertive.
Finally, we tasted two varieties of spices. We were pleased that both the cinnamon and the ginger ganaches had pronounced flavors.
At the end of the tasting, we were somewhat disappointed that a number of the chocolate varieties did not have strong, distinctive flavors. However, we realize that had the chocolates been larger, we would have had a better opportunity to taste their fillings.
We think that the chocolates are greatly overpriced! One can find fine-quality, filled chocolates for less at other chocolate shops in Paris.
Chocolate lovers living in the United States can try this tasting themselves by “investing” the rather hefty sum of $25 (plus shipping) for a box of “Selection Ballotin.” (The box sold in the U.S. does not contain the identical selection that we purchased here in Paris.)
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