Jewish refugees from Spain introduced chocolate (the drink) to Bayonne and France in the 1600s, but it was a Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten who invented modern cocoa, and an English chocolatier named Joseph Fry who invented chocolate in a solid state. The French take credit for inventing chocolate bars (tablettes) (Menier, in 1836).
Bayonne still has a reputation for fine chocolates, as well as the Musée du Chocolat. But chocolate lovers will do well anywhere in France.
chocolat à croquer: eating chocolate
chocolat au lait: milk chocolate
chocolat blanc: white chocolate
chocolat blond: or chocolat Dulcey. Caramelized white chocolate, chocolat blond was invented by Fréderic Bau in 2006. Like ganache, it came about by accident, when white chocolate was forgotten for 15 hours in an oven during a chocolate demonstration in Japan.
Image by Canon S3 IS in Paris, France, Flickr