Chocolate is not only a food that allows artistic expression, but also a tool for defending biodiversity and sending the message that we have to take care of our planet, according to acclaimed French chocolatier Patrick Roger.
Chocolates are displayed at a stand as part of the 17th Salon du Chocolat (chocolate fair) in Paris. (AFP)
His gigantic chocolate sculptures, some of them natural scenes weighing up to eight tonnes, have launched him into the stratosphere of French baking and have made him the most prominent voice for a philosophy that goes far beyond the world of taste.
"We have a problem rooted in our own consumers: they are the ones who want everything the same and refuse to buy an apple that doesn't seem perfect. The products are all the same and we're losing the richness we have," Roger said in an interview with Efeagro in Madrid.
"Chocolate is a pretext for creating," said the chocolatier, who traveled to Spain to present his work within the framework of Madrid Fusion.
As his products are being marketed, Roger is devoting himself to exploring the possibilities that the vegetable world offers to the chocolate universe.
"I come from the countryside. I'm a lover of plants, of botany. We have to defend these (things), which are very mistreated by society and which are marvelous when they are mixed with chocolate," he said.
The result is an array of unexpected taste combinations which seek to transmit "the pleasure of chocolate and respect for nature", using products from his own garden, including basil, pepper and lemon, which he merges with the textures of the chocolate.