August 2, 2017 - Around the Chocolate

If the artisanal chocolate activity in Roussillon is already present from the end of the 17th century, the raw materials coming from Spain enter most often in France by a contraband trade asset. Since 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees has drawn a border that divides the Catalan country. Roussillon, Conflent, Vallespir and part of Cerdanya are now part of France but the border of the two states, bound by centuries of customs, life and common language resent this division and are fighting for their way.

Around 1778, manufacture is mechanized. A hydraulic machine makes it possible to grind, mix and agglomerate the dough. In 1785, a Roussillonnais named François Basset tries to create his own chocolate factory. Evidenced by a letter received in April by the Consuls of Perpignan by which a fellow native of Ria in Conflent, but expatriate in Catalonia in recent years suggests that they benefit the capital of Roussillon commercial advantages he has experienced in Barcelona: (style and spelling are respected). “To the very illustrious gentlemen of this most faithful city of Perpignan. humbly begs the Sieur François Basset, living place of Ria in Conflent, heretofore residing in the city of Barcelona and in this city of Perpignan, saying that after having worked for some years in the city, called the Barcelona craft chocolate maker, he is determined to return to his homeland and settle in the city of Perpignan to exercise the same profession, ie in order to make chocolate and debit and sell it openly and open shop (…) “.

Thus, after deliberation consuls Bordas Ignace Joseph Vergès and Antoine Laplante, police consuls Judges of the year, it is awarded to M. Basset install a factory and a chocolate business in the City of Fidélissime Perpignan.

We note in passing that, in 1779, “no masters of chocolatier” exists in Perpignan.

Did this company come into existence? There is nothing to say because there is no document to date.


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