« We, as a people, belong to the civilization of the Olive.
We love strong oil, green oil, an oil whose odour exonerates from reading the Ilade and the Odysee. »
Jean Giono, Noé.
L'Espérantine de Marseille was born in 1999 in occasion of the 2600 years of Marseille, immediately claiming its place within the restricted club of high-end luxury chocolate when it was awarded the coveted 'Cordon Bleu' prize for best confectionery the following year in Paris at the Salon INTERSUC 2000.
The complete array of Mediterranean flavours were carefully screened during its inception, where it soon became apparent that almonds and olive oil would be the main ingredients of the magic formula that was to become l'Espérantine: a subtle marriage of dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao and sweet almonds which were further associated to strong mint and candied orange peel. At the heart of this unctuous blend, extra virgin olive oil adds a fine note which lingers enchantingly on the palate.
The contrast between the crunch of dark, raw chocolate and the unctuous blend of superior quality ingredients is an emotional, sensual experience and a delight to the palate.
Ubiquitous yet incredibly discreet, the olive oil lingers remarkably on the palate, acting both as a taste-enhancer and a natural preservative…
…and therein lies the secret of this unique creation, which was awarded the coveted "Cordon Bleu" prize in Paris.
Packaged in small boxes, or in cases whose design is inspired from the Greek origins of Marseille, l'Espérantine is uniquely presented as a small olive tree branch.
L'Espérantine has quite naturally earned a place within Provencal and Mediterranean gastronomy, and through its flavours and symbolism is an invitation to delightful conviviality where the love of chocolate is synonymous with a gourmet lifestyle.
According to an IFOP survey based on a sample of 1000 respondents representing a population over 15 years of age, it seems as though old-fashioned authentic preparation is what carries the inherent value of a certain 'art de vivre' and is fundamental in conveying a successful image to French products abroad.
The specification sheet for creating identital confectionery for Marseille, with its impositions and constraints, as well as the financial imperatives of treating production as a craft without subventions or financial support might well have limited the choice of ingredients and their origin to an initial selection, yet right from day one no compromise was made.
The ingredients for l'Espérantine were sourced from established suppliers whose reputation, as leaders in Europe and worldwide, spans decades.