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Chocolaterie Dardenne

Chocolate maker, sweet maker
31110 Salles et Pratviel

Sale to private individuals and professionals
Founded in 1897 by pharmacist and chocolatier Ludovic Dardenne, Dardenne originally made diet chocolates, which were sold in chocolate shops and chemists to people who had difficulty digesting chocolate. The "Dardenne patent” was developed in 1910, in conjunction with Nobel prizewinning chemist Paul Sabatier.
The firm possesses rare know-how covering the entire production process. It processes its chocolate from cocoa beans, which are supplied in crushed form. It performs the conching and refining (over 15 hours). The powders are made by pressing the chocolate paste. Dardenne stands apart from its competitors for a cooking process invented by its founder.

The process involves the hydrolysis of starch. The crushed cocoa beans are vacuum-cooked with sugar, vanilla and water at 100°C for one hour. This breaks down the complex molecules that are hard for the body to digest, while also releasing volatile acids. Characteristic aromas like liquorice and caramel, linked to the cooking process, are also brought out at this stage.

The cooked chocolate is then refined and conched using traditional methods. Dardenne supplies a mainly French clientele comprised of organic retailers such as Biocoop, La Vie Claire, Relais Vert and Naturalia, and delicatessens such as Lafayette Gourmet.