Join us in our journey as we try to get high, sugar high that is as we take a tour of the best chocolate destinations for those who has a weakness for this much loved magical delight:
Belgium has excellent beer, loveliest tulips, and yummiest chocolates! Flanders in particular boasts of the best chocolatiers who have maintained an excellent quality and innovated chocolates as we know it today. If you go the the classy Antwerp, look for the daring sweet creations of Hans Burie. In Brussels check out the the offerings of Laurent Gerbaud with inspirations coming from the East. The country also has several museums where you can learn about the history of your favorite sweets, its production, and more. Of course do not miss Brussels famous Mary Chocolatier, Leonidas, Neuhaus, and Godiva.
The City of Lights is also a chocolate heaven. The names you can think of when it comes to chocolate in this Paris, France will be myriad. Do not miss Maison du Chocolat by Robert Linxe, Lenotre Culinary School, and the exciting creations of Michel Chaudun. Checkout the calendars too for their festival called Salon du Chocolat where you can taste samples of the best chocolates, see sculptures, and watch fashion shows and demos that are all about your favorite sweets. Another great place to visit for chocolates in France is Tain L’Hermitage just out of Lyon where the Valrhone Ecole du Grand Chocolate, a world famous school for chocolate making, is located.
In the country considered as pasta, pizza, and wine lover haven, chocolate also is also among the favorites. The cocoa was first introduced in the 16th century and Italians has since been crazy for the sweet concoction. Visit the emporium of Guido Gobino in Turin to taste gianduja which is a combo of chocolate and hazelnuts. They also have a chocolate festival every March.
Have you heard of Tetteh Quarshie? You ought to know in case you love munching on those bars of chocolate. Quarshie was the guy responsible for planting the first seeds of cacao in Ghana. The country has been among the biggest exporter of cacao in the past century. If you are Ghana bound, you can visit the Quarshie farm to see the first ever cocoa plant and also learn about the production side of chocolate at the Tafo Research Institute.
Even during the ancient times, the Aztecs and Maya have been enjoying kukuh and xocolati which are concoctions of cacao. The industry of chocolate enjoys its second life as the bars of Maya Gold by Green and Black is based on the ancient recipes of making kukuh. If you are visiting Southern Belize, you can arrange for a visit to see the whole process from taking care of the cacao, picking, and chocolate production.
Lindt, Toblerone, Nestle, and Suchard. These are some of the most famous brands of chocolate that trace their roots in Switzerland. You can go to the Nestle plant near Gruyeres to see how they make their chocolates and you can also try the truffles and handmade pralines thru the Sprungli outlets which has been known to produce wonderful chocolates since 1836.
You might not have Germany in mind when you think of chocolate travel ideas but Cologne is home to an excellent chocolate museum where you can learn how chocolate has been made in the last three thousand years and how it has evolved.
This country has the Paria Peninsula or more fondly called as their Chocolate Coast from which the porcelana, chuao, and criollos come. The best cocoas are grown by local small farms owned by families. You can tour such farms like the Hacienda Bukare. You can also ask for some free samples!
Birmingham in England
In England, you can tour the Cadbury World and drool as you see the sweet liquid flow down the machine, formed into bars, wrapped, and packed. Kids and adult chocolate lovers will surely enjoy the goodies at the biggest Cadbury store in the globe.
Calle Mina in Oaxaca, Mexico is a street for those who has a sweet tooth. Walk down the alley and hear the grinding of the beans and smell the sweetness of the candies, beverages, and pastries being made. Here, chocolate is part of their daily lives. Chocolate defines their culture and be sure to try their chocolates with a flavor of some of the world’s exotic spices. Wait for the flavors to explode in your mouth.
Spain is probably among the first countries in Europe to enjoy the magic of the cacao beans. The chocolate drink is part of their breakfast Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the best churros of Alicante, see te Museo de La Xocolata of Barcelona, and try La Villajoyosa’s Valor which is the oldest brand of gourmet chocolate in Spain.
Pennsylvania, United States
Pennsylvania is home to Hersheys and their headquarters, more popularly called as Hershey’s Chocolate World, has a tag declaring it as the Sweetest Place on earth. It is truly a world of sweets to explore from having your face printed on a chocoalte bar to enjoying glasses of chocolate martinis. There is also the Chocolate Spa where you can feel first hand the therapeutic effects of chocolates, literally on your skin.
Bay Area has been home to the oldest chocolatemakers in the US. If you are a chocolate lover and dropping by San Francisco, do not miss the tour of their best chocolate shops. You can learn about the history of chocolate making when you visit the factory of Ghirardelli and Scherffen Berger. Your list should also include Coco-Luxe, Michael Recchiuti, Richart San Francisco, XOX Truffle, and TCHO.
This corner of the Caribbean is home to the Grenada Chocolate Company that makes award winning cocoa and chocolate bars. Their factory cum home of the family is also solar powered making it one of the greenest chocolate factories in the whole planet.
The Big Apple is a melting pot of chocolatiers from around the world. We cannot say of a distinct New York chocolate flavor since the treats have several influence to provide that addicting flavor. You can book for a Luxury Chocolate Tour or a New Cuisine Chocolate Tour if you are having a New York holiday so you can visit different chocolate shops and factories in this megacity. Some names that you must not miss include Jacques Torres for his truffles, chocolate pastries, and hot chocolate; Richard Design et Chocolat; Li-Lac Chocolates; Chocolate Bar; and MarieBelle.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)