Pierre Marcolini has opened a brand new store at El Corte Inglés. Marisa Cutillas breaks her diet radically during her recent visit.

One of the best things about the El Corte Inglés shopping centre is its constant interest in renovation. There is always a new stand, brand, or food place opening in this elegant shopping haven in the heart of Puerto Banús. Recently, every chocolate-loving cell in me screamed for joy when I came across the brand new Pierre Marcolini store.

At the time, I was headed doggedly for my favourite coffee shop (cold brew coffee in the heat of the summer, anyone?) but the sight of Pierre Marcolini – literally steps away from my old favourite, made me do an immediate about-face. The plethora of colours (pink, violet, green macarons), chocolate shapes (truffles, bars, heart-shaped bonbons), and design features (the Pierre Marcolini logo says everything about the brand’s penchant for style), appealed to the aesthete in me.

Tasting Chocolate

I spoke to the lovely manager and asked a bit of advice. She suggested the passionfruit macaron and a chocolate ball that broke into liquid magic once savoured. The stunning design of the store is matched by the quality of the coffee, chocolate, and macarons, in every way. It is indeed difficult to make a decision as to which item to treat yourself to. As I made my way through the small but well-stocked store, I was taken with the presentation. Some chocolate boxes were decorated with dozens of loose ‘diamonds’ that played around in the box – an ideal present for a discerning chocolate lover.

The Emotion of Chocolate

Belgian chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini, founded his firm over 20 years ago with a lofty aim: that of scouring the world in search of the very best cacao, in order to create his own Grand Crus chocolates. For Marcolini, chocolate is far from a ‘mortal sin’. Rather, it wields great benefits, inspiring gourmets to discover and delight in flavour and creativity. Thus, many of his chocolates and macarons elicit oohs and aahs upon first bite. There is something familiar, but also very original in each heavenly treat.

A Long Journey

Pierre Marcolini is one of the few chocolatiers in the world who controls the entire process of chocolate making – from the purchase of raw materials right through to product presentation. This chocolate house toasts its own cacao beans (obtained from Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Vietnam and other suppliers), refines them, prepares ganaches, tempers the chocolate, etc. This enables the chocolatier to achieve an exact intensity and aroma. The firm pays a fair price for the beans and (thanks to a special contract) has 20 hectares of producer Pedro Martinetti’s plantations reserved for its use.

Exotic Ingredients

Chocolate is a key ingredient of many of Pierre Marcolini’s creations, but it isn’t the only one. Due importance is given to the sourcing of other ingredients as well – including vanilla from Madagascar, hazelnuts from Piamonte, pistachios from Iran, pink berries from Morocco, and lemons from Sicily. The firm has also discovered a tiny variety of almonds in Slovenia; their intense flavour delights and surprises.

An Atelier with a Difference

Pierre Marcolini chocolates are made in the firm’s Atelier in Brussels, which measures an impressive 3,000m2. A hardworking team carries out a number of tasks, including grating three tonnes of lemons by hand and peeling 15 tonnes of almonds every year!

A Wide Range to Choose From

Pay a visit to Pierre Marcolini’s new store on the ground floor of El Corte Inglés and you will find a dazzling display of various products – including marmalade, cakes, marshmallows, truffles, pralines, etc. One of the firm’s most famous treats is its raspberry heart, created in 2000. Within its interior it hides a black chocolate ganache and raspberry pulp medley that makes you close your eyes in delight! Since 2000, many new flavours have been added – including lemon, passionfruit, salted caramel, and more.

There are chocolates of all sizes and textures, and many of the tablets contain 75 per cent or 85 per cent chocolate. Another thing that will delight you if you are a health buff is the fact that these chocolates are low in sugar; prime importance is given to the rich flavour of the chocolate itself.

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift, you are in the mood for a deep black coffee, or you wish to boost your energy with chocolate, head to Pierre Marcolini at El Corte Inglés. Take your kids along, for they will surely be as fascinated as I was with the artistic colours and shapes that clearly speak of this chocolatier’s authentic passion for quality and originality.