Tucked away in a quiet street behind the cathedral in Strasbourg is Bistrot & Chocolat.
My experience started with the waiter (who resembled Russell Brand and was as equally charming), asking me how I like my hot chocolate – which is as strong as possible. Nearly instantly I started to worry how strong this might end up being and if I was up to the challenge. I was offered a hot chocolate not yet on the menu as it only arrived from Venezuela last week. 100% cacao, with chai spice flavouring and a hint of banana. Sounded intriguing. Would I like a little bit of creme on top? Why not.
It arrived, with more than what I would call a ‘little bit of creme’, and sprinkled with what tasted like curry. Interesting.
After I made my way through the cream, I hit the chocolate and picked up the banana flavour which really balanced the chocolate.
Why didn’t I look for this place earlier? There is a whole menu to try. This was the first hot chocolate I have ever eaten with a spoon!
The bitterness outweighed any sweetness (and given it was 100% caoco, there wasn’t really any sugar hit), but time was definitely needed to drink this. One to savour through both necessity and to prolong the sheer enjoyment.
Then I started to ponder about how I could recreate this at home…well, unless I get myself a Venezuelan chocolate supplier and steal the spice recipe, I probably can’t. But it would not be the same experience drinking/eating it everyday. That’s what makes searching for hot chocolate special – you really value a good one when you find it. And you have a reason to revisit.