Debauve & Gallais Chocolates, Delights From Another Time

Chocolates imagined as medicinal remedies at the time of Louis XVI which have become iconic on the palates of Proust or Sonia Rykiel – Debauve & Gallais are icons of felicity. 

Debauve & Gallais Chocolates as Medicine

Before turning into chocolate entirely dedicated to the pleasure of the senses, the Debauve & Gallais sweets were imagined to be …. medicine! Indeed, when pharmacist Sulpice Debauve created in 1779 the first chewable chocolates, it was in order to mix in a remedy against headaches with cocoa butter. The purpose? To make Marie-Antoinette’s unpalatable medicine more enjoyable to take. 

Thus baptised “Pistoles de Marie-Antoinette” these first chocolates were Suplice Debauve’s first step into the world of gourmet delicacies. He is appointed the title of official chocolatier to Louis XVI – and after the revolution? He received the license of Chocolatier du Premier Consul Napoléon Bonaparte. His inventions certainly made an impression!

The Iconic Debauve & Gallais Croquamandes 

He combined for the first time nuts (in this case almonds) to chocolates. Baptised Croquamandes, these Debauve & Gallais sweets became Napoleon I’s favourite delights. 

Settled at rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, then in 1817 rue des Saints-Pères, the Debauve & Gallais maison has been developing many noble and delicious sweets for more than 210 years. 1878, 1889 and 1900 the three Exposition Universelles in Paris honour the Debauve & Gallais chocolate with golden medals. Louis XVIII himself declared in 1817 that the Debauve & Gallais Chocolates “flourish all over Europe”. Ganache palets, truffles, Croquamandes, Pistoles de Marie-Antoinette, Frivoles, Incroyables….

The Christmas Chocolate – Favoured by Great Authors 

The recipes are the same; unchanged since the first formulation of Sulpice Debauve. It is not surprising then to read Marcel Proust write: “Dear friend, I strongly advise you to enjoy regularly the Debauve et Gallais, so exquisite chocolates to never lose the true sense of life, it is one of my favorite ways”. In honour of such a great aesthete Debauve & Gallais decided to launch their versions of Proust’s madeleines in 1922. An icon to be savoured – even more so when we find out the power of chocolate. On the senses and on the spirit. It is enough to have a look at the playful and spirited imagination of brilliant women like Simone de Beauvoir or Sonia Rykiel. They in fact loved Debauve & Gallais chocolates. To place the Christmas chocolate on a beautifully garnished table.