Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Semur en Auxois

The landscape flows past. Green grass decorated with pale, almost white cows amid yellow buttercups. Hedgerows separate the fields, creating a tapestry of greens draped across rolling hills.

Semur en Auxois is a medieval city built atop a ridge next to a river. It has ramparts, towers, ancient stone walls, narrow streets guarded by gates (at least in the old part of town). 

We asked around for the local culinary specialty, thinking it would be something relative to all those cows, cheese, or perhaps wheat. Nope. It’s semurettes,  small dark chocolate truffles shaped like rugby balls (or American-style footballs).  They directed us to a blue shop in the heart of the ancient town, presided over by Mr. Coeur, master chocolatier. Semurettes aren’t something you eat in quantity. They’re rich, dark chocolate ganache coated with cocoa powder, more rich than sweet.

Strangely enough, Mr. Coeur leaves for California in a couple of weeks, to follow the famous Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.   

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