A highlight of many Rhine River cruises is a stop in the charming French town of Strasbourg. It was certainly a high point during my spring sailing with Viking River Cruises, which offered passengers the Taste the Best of Alsace excursion (available for an additional fee) — an outing to sample delicacies from local French merchants, such as cheeses, chocolates, gingerbread, freshly made pretzels and more.
One of these must-visit vendors during any trip to the Alsatian city is Patisserie Christian, a chocolate and pastry shop that has been satiating visitors and locals alike for nearly 60 years. Here, Christophe Meyer, the son of founder Christian Meyer, revealed the backstory behind every luscious piece of chocolate he served us as we greedily accepted piece after piece.
As our waistlines slowly expanded in the shop’s back room, Meyer explained how he only sources the best cacao beans from destinations such as Venezuala, Guatemala, Madagascar and Peru. We tried delectable bites of chocolate that featured ingredients such as quetsch (a variety of plum), pine honey and cayenne, along with simple but iconic dark chocolate.
Beyond chocolate bars, travelers can also get their fill of goodies that include pralines, truffles, kougelhopf (a yeasted marble cake popular in Strasbourg) and more, and Patisserie Christian also serves up ice cream, sorbet and other light fare.