Debauve & Gallais


Debauve & Gallais

Sulpice DebauveDebauve & Gallais was founded in 1800 by Sulpice Debauve, pharmacist of King Louis XVI, and his nephew Antoine Gallais, author of the Cocoa Monograph. The company has its roots deep in a rich substratum of brilliant craftsmen who, in the 18th Century, founded the tradition of chocolate that is so specific to France. Today, it is the oldest and the most prestigious chocolate house in Paris also present in Seoul, Athens, Dubai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Debauve & Gallais chocolates are handmade on a small scale, with only raw material of great quality and without dyes or preservatives (like soy lecithin, for instance). Consequently, they have a unique taste, a marvelous smell and need special care.

Today, as in the past, Debauve & Gallais only use the most sophisticated techniques in chocolate-making. Traditional materials such as copper cauldrons preserve the beautiful taste. The quality of the product is above all the result of craftsmen in love with their job and inspired to reach perfection.

The history of pistoles

Queen Marie-AntoinetteJust appointed as chemist for the King, Sulpice Debauve was one hour from Saint-Cloud, the young Queen Marie-Antoinette’s favourite residence. One day in June 1779, when Sulpice was visiting with a new preparation, the Queen complained that the taste of most of the medicines that she had to take were too strong and quite unpleasant. She was accustomed to drinking delicious hot chocolate, having lived in Vienna.

It didn’t seem like a good idea to put the medicine in hot drinking chocolate as the heat would worsen the unpleasant taste and smell. The two came up with an idea to put the medicine in solid chocolate. Thus, the pistoles were born. Pistoles were first made of cacao, cane sugar and medicine all mixed together. In Debauve & Gallais tradition it is said that the Queen herself named them ‘pistoles’ when she saw the first coin-shaped chocolates.