The classic French kid’s breakfast: a bowl of hot chocolate—a bowl because it’s easier to dunk in your baguette covered with butter and jam or Nutella. The inevitable little fat bubbles and crumbs floating on top are a sign of authenticity.
Although these days most French parents make cocoa instead of true chocolat chaud by adding one of several pre-sweetened instant cocoa powders to the milk, you will not (or should not!) ever be served such a thing at a chocolaterie: true French hot chocolate is milk with a lot of good bittersweet chocolate melted in and whisked until it’s a thick drink. Some add cream.
Some of the very best is served in Bayonne, the cradle of French chocolate, at the chocolatier Puyodebat, where they serve it with an old fashioned moussoir (frother), on a trembleuse - chocolatière, a deep saucer, so you can stir the precious chocolate without risking a spill, in a tasse à moustache (a cup designed to keep your moustache clean).
Images by Paul Gavarni , Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta