Awaken to Hirsinger’s French Chocolate in Arbois

Bonjour mes amis,

Let me take you to another fabulous chocolate shop in France today. It’s raining here and my french awakening is in the mood for some chocolate! Arbois is the home to the famous  ‘Hirsinger’s’ and its world of luxury, hand made chocolates and that’s where we’re going!

Now a little history before we arrive…

Historically, the Hirsinger family have been producing these luxury chocolates for over a century. Currently, Edouard Hirsinger, fourth generation chocolatier, has carried on the time honoured tradition of his grandfathers. It all started with Auguste Hirsinger a pastry chef, who gave birth to the Arbois business in early 1900’s and passed on his pastry knowledge and secrets which have remained in the family ever since. Edouard has introduced new contemporary tastes like lime, almond and coriander or even the unusual combination of curry and white wine to his fine repertoire!

Now that we have arrived, the exterior of Hirsinger’s at the corner of Place de la Liberte, Arbois, is deceptively small but very impressive. Under the arches of an 18th century arcade, you will notice that the front façade and window architraves are painted black.

Four or five small café tables and chairs adorned with long black and lemon tablecloths, are occupied by those devouring hot chocolate and coffee with small wedges of chocolate tastings. But it’s the warm chocolatey, coffee aroma wafting through your nostrils that will make your mouth water and stir your feet in the direction of the door.

These heavy doors will spread open for us with astoundingly little effort (miracle non?)

Now, I’m going to lay out a few steps (that’s the teacher in me!) that I’d like you to reinforce ON ENTRY.

Step One: You should  remain committed to taste any heavenly sweets, especially if it comes from the “gratuite” sample plate on the counter.

Step Two: Unfasten your belts and get ready for heaven.

Hersinger’s is  almost too inviting inside, with chandeliers glowing warm on our faces and the walls screaming vibrant blood red. (This red colour must be an obvious marketing ploy, as advertisements about communication and passion use red and orange non?)

Step Three:  Be prepared for seduction.

An extensive range of chocolate creams and pralines and chocolate gateaux, nougats, jellies and caramels of exquisite artistry, lay bare on glass shelving and glisten under intense light and welcomed scrutiny. I was told by a local customer, that in season, glazed candied chestnuts are also highly popular.

Step Four: Try not to collapse on the glass fronts in the process of decision making. This can be embarrassing for the rest of us.

And Lastly, Step Five: Don’t attempt to carry these chocolates around with you across France. We made the mistake of trying to bring home some sugar candied and ganache filled chocolate eggs at Easter time which were gushing with gold coloured wrappings at the time. We carried them  around the rest of France until one day they melted in the car, having been left unattended on some impromptu excursion.  Just like that! What was a girl to do when their gooey loveliness spreads flat across its foiled wrappers…?

Perhaps let Hirsinger’s take the trauma out of delivery. Check out their website at

Hirsinger’s, Arbois has got to go on your  “must see and experience” list next time you’re in France. When I first found myself peering into Hirsinger’s, it was no short of a miracle and the same experience is waiting for you!

WARNING: This is an intense chocoholic experience. Remission is not guaranteed.

Enjoy my darlings!

For more wonderful places to see, feel, touch and taste while in France, why not subscribe above?

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

3 Responses to “Awaken to Hirsinger’s French Chocolate in Arbois”

  1. Yum, Therese!!

  2. As a chocolate lover, I may HAVE to go before leaving tomorrow!

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