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Taste of Toulouse Pastry and Chocolate Tour

Ever found yourself somewhere new with a list a mile long of places to eat/ foods to try? Well when you’re travelling solo, it’s nearly impossible to get through that list (and believe me, I have travelled on my own enough to know!) – because, really, there is only so much you can eat in a day, right? 😉  This is one of the reasons I love the idea of walking tours (see some of my favourite food-themed (and other) Paris walking tours here) – not only do you get a chance to meet new people but you get to sample many of those things on your “to taste” list without having to buy full-sized portions.

I always seek out these types of tours whenever I am in a new town – or even a not-so-new town like Toulouse (where we have spent a few days on the end of our trips to NĂ©rac over the past few years). This March Break I found myself alone in Toulouse with just one day and decided to make the most of it by taking one of the new Chocolate and Pastry tours offered by Jessica at Taste of Toulouse. Jessica’s an American “Toulousaine at heart” who runs English language food-themed tours and wine/ cheese tastings in Toulouse and I’ve been dying to meet her as I’ve followed her journey on social media. Jessica, who hails from Michigan, is WSET Level 2 trained, a French Wine Scholar and has worked as a cheesemonger so she’s well qualified to help English language speakers navigate their way around the food and wine of Southwest France:

As a certified French Wine Scholar, ex-cheesemonger, and French food obsessive, my goal is to take you on a sensory adventure through the culinary wonderland of SW France while helping you decode the intimidating and confusing aspects of French food and wine.

Sounds good, right? So, on a sunny Friday in late March, I joined a small group for a 3+ hour tour sampling some of the city’s finest sweet treats – no guilt involved because I was sharing 🙂

Criollo Chocolates Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe started out at Criollo Chocolatier on Place Saint-Étienne where we enjoyed Chocolat Chaud Bao Dai (with lime and red pepper). It was simply outstanding. Reminiscent of Mexican spiced hot chocolate only more intriguing…

Hot chocolate on Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe also ogled all of their other offerings…

Chocolate Selection Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd Jessica insisted we try these:

Easter eggs at Criollo Chocolates Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comI could have happily ended my tour here but there was SO much more to come…

We discovered the quaint charm of Patisserie ContĂ© 

Patisserie Conte Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comand their FĂ©nĂ©tra (pĂąte sablĂ© au citron, confiture d’abricot et citron confit, succĂšs aux amandes)

Fenetra on Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.com as well as the classic mille-feuille (they make theirs with a secret ingredient, you’ll just have to take the tour to find out what it is!)

Mille feuille Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.com Mille feuille cross section Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe tour takes you through the Place de la Capitole…

Place Capitole Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comDon’t forget to look up!

Looking up in Place Capitole Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe had the chance to discover “French fudge” at La Compagnie du Chocolat (the only place you can get it in France!)

Compagnie du Chocolat fudge Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comMore like a ganache than a fudge but definite fudge-like elements though it’s less sweet than classic fudge, so you can try a couple of different flavours! We lucked out and chatted with the chocolatier, Vincent Puyuelo, at length on this stop and it was a fascinating look into his world. Hint: they make the products right there in store which is a neat bonus!

Next up, I got my macaron fill at Maison Pillon – Jessica’s pick for macarons in Toulouse. We tasted macarons in various flavours – cassis-violette, lemon, passion fruit, and cherry/piment d’Espelette (to die for!).

Maison Pillon macarons Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThese were just right – not too big and not too sweet. I’ll be heading back here the next time I am in Toulouse (because they had a whole range of other pastries that looked just as good!) 😉

Our final chocolate stop of the tour was at the gorgeous tea room at Bello et Angeli

Orangettes and roasted cacao beans Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comHere, we learned a little bit about the process of how chocolate is made (from bean to bar, literally) and tastes a variety of unique chocolates – roasted cacao beans (the top item in the image above. WOW. Must be tasted to be believed!), two types of single-origin chocolate bars (Vietnam 74% and Sao TomĂ© 67% – you’d never think such a small different in percent of cocoa butter would have such an impact on taste but it really did), a single-origin ganache, a roasted corn pralinĂ© (again, just WOW!), and orangettes (my favourites!). This location of Bello et Angeli is a lovely tea room where you can enjoy a drink with your sweet treat – highly recommended as a place to while away the afternoon!

Our final stop on the tour was Sandyan by Yannick Delpech. Now, I thought the window display of all their baked viennoiseries looked amazing…

pastries on Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comBut wait, there’s more…

Trompe l'oeil oeuf a la coqueTaste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWait, BOILED EGGS?

Look again…

Oeuf a la Coque Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThese are Delpech’s famous “oeufs coques” – trompe l’oeil eggs with passion fruit coulis, double cream, and mango and green tea. Yes, they are as good to eat as they look! Delpech is the chef at “L’Amphitryon”, the Michelin-starred and Gault et Millau acclaimed restaurant just outside Toulouse and he was the youngest in France to receive a Michelin star (at the age of 24). Sandyan is the collaboration with his partner, Sandrine and offers a wide range of classic French pastries with seasonal ingredients and fun twists.

Eclair on Taste of Toulouse Chocolate and Pastry tour on eatlivetravelwrite.com

This might look like a regular chocolate Ă©clair but it’s actually pecan-caramel and was surprising and unique (because you were just expecting chocolate). We sat in the tearoom upstairs at Sandyan for AGES chatting and debriefing our tastings (and heads up they have a wicked rose/ lychee cocktail to enjoy with your treats!)

Jessica offers a fabulous overview of Toulouse’s sweet treats – many of them completely off the tourist radar (well, at least mine!) and if you’re in town for a few days, I’d highly recommend taking a tour (she also offers tours of the Victor-Hugo Market) at the start so you can return to some of the places throughout your trip. And of course, if you’re a solo food enthusiast and only in town for one day, this is definitely the activity for you!

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2 Responses to Taste of Toulouse Pastry and Chocolate Tour

  1. FrenchVillage Jacqui April 3, 2019 at 07:29 #

    Oh my! We will be in Toulouse for the first time in a few weeks. As we are only staying one night and arrive by bike, not sure I will have the time or energy for a 3 hour evening tour, but I will try to get to sample the delights of at least one of these places before we head off back to Bordeaux.

    • Mardi Michels April 5, 2019 at 06:27 #

      Yay – definitely check out some of these places! And enjoy Toulouse – it’s one of my fave cities in France!

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