Carcassonne has three chocolate shops around the main square plus a fourth one about a 5-minute walk away. These are not your ordinary salt water taffy and fudge candy stores but artisanal workshops with many of their treats created on the spot. You may have read an earlier post about the annual Chocolate Fair and these folks carry on the tradition daily. Of course, that does come at a price and now I know why these confections are so highly prized.
As you would expect, in the weeks before Easter the windows of these shops were filled with chocolate eggs, chickens, all kinds of farm animals, and church bells. Here, instead of the Easter bunny delivering goodies it’s the flying bells that drop chocolates to children and adults alike. I’m not sure, however, that I would want that 10 kilogram (22 pound) egg you see in the attached picture dropped on me!
Looking in those windows got me to thinking about the cost per measure since most food prices are displayed as both per piece and then per kilogram. While that cute little hollow chicken was not expensive on its own, the 90 euro per kilogram (46 dollars per pound) price tag seemed pretty high. If you buy just a chocolate bar from one of those shops where they use the same ingredients as in the beautiful window displays, the price drops to less than half the cost. That’s not bad when you’re on vacation or as a special treat, but we live here and chocolate is a must-have.
Enter the supermarket. With that many chocolate shops gathered in one small area of town you might expect big candy displays in the grocery stores, and you’d be right. The range is amazing in both quality and price, but obviously nothing that would match those individual shops. We did settle on one brand that uses 74% cocoa that’s produced in sustainable, socially-responsible ways. The per kilogram price is 5 euro which makes it about $2.60 per pound. Let them eat chocolate!