On Saturday, I went with a group of 24 people from AVF on a tour of the Chocolaterie du Drakkar in Bayeux. The chocolaterie not only has its own boutique for selling goods but a large, informative museum upstairs concerning the history of chocolate and how the tasty sweets are prepared in their own factory. Some of the displays had interesting facts including this one that says cacao butter was once used in the preparation of suppositories. The Spanish explorers were so enamored with the flavor of chocolate that they took it back to Spain where it became the official drink of Kings throughout Europe. Around the end of the 18th century (1780 - 1800), Europeans started preparing chocolate with milk and sugar to create what we know today as hot chocolate. In fact the drink became so popular many of the leading European porcelain manufactures such as Limoges in France began making specialized pots and cups just to serve chocolate. There was a huge display of these chocolate pots and cups from all over the world. After watching some short videos about chocolate preparation and seeing all of the old machines and moulds used to make French chocolate, we were able to purchase items from the boutique downstairs. I bought a box of their specialty Mousse Pralines and Meringue. Created in 1960 this praline-flavoured meringue is specially named “Le Drakkar” in memory of the Vikings who had conquered Normandy. I also got a box of chocolate covered candies filled with Calvados liqueur called “Le Duc Guillaume.” Of course, it is easy to go crazy in a chocolate store and I ended up purchasing over 83 Euros worth of chocolates and nougat—and I’m not even a huge fan of chocolate. I’d much prefer peanut butter on a spoon any day ! After our morning at the chocolaterie, we then drove to L’Ambiance Restaurant in St-Lô where we had our lunch. Some people had ham as their main course while others, like myself, had the roasted chicken with green beans and potatoes. For dessert I had the chocolate mousse while my friends Dianna and Martine had tarte aux pomme and vanilla ice cream. Thanks to everyone at AVF for making this trip possible especially Jinette who was our driver. I had a wonderful day. My article about Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô – the national stud farm for horses (where we visited after lunch), will be posted later in the week.