Coming back from Lyon last week-end I brought back many gourmet memories (what a wonderful trip it was!) but also lots of tangible souvenirs, especially from the chocolate department: a good way to keep the holiday spirit going! My favorite ones around Christmas are les papillottes. This specialty from the Lyon region is on every table at the end of the year. The best of the best are made by Révillon Chocolatier in Roanne, about 50 miles west of Lyon, in a beautiful and hilly countryside.
Papillottes are a treat for all the senses. With their shiny envelope, they look like somptuous little presents. Choose one at random in the bag or plate for a delicious surprise. Take the little jewel between your fingers and pull gently on each end of the package: the metallic wrap makes a delicious rustling noise that wakens the ear and waters the mouth. As the papillotte opens up, the chocolate fragrances rise up to your nose. You are about to indulge yourself with dark, milk or white chocolate and an irresitible filling such as ganache, praliné, hazelnuts or nougat. You could even get a flavorful fruit paste (quince if you're lucky). While eating the sweet treat, read the joke or saying printed on a little piece of white paper placed inside the wrap, around the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt in your mouth. Meditate and enjoy... Then pick another one :-)