You must have heard about wine tours or adventure travels. But have you ever been on a chocolate trip? Most people love chocolate, but for those people who are health conscious, gluten free chocolate is the perfect choice! However, true chocolate lovers do not hesitate to take a flight to discover new types of chocolate. There are different destinations across the world which allow you to indulge into some great chocolate tasting.
The Chocolate Valley, Italy
Welcome to The Chocolate Valley! It is found in Tuscany, Italy. Even if Tuscany is popular for its vineyards and fine wine, it is also a chocolate destination. The Chocolate Valley actually forms a triangle between Pisa, Florence and Montecatini. Discover its countryside which consists of rolling hills and which is full of amazing gourmet shops, as well as chocolate factories. If you are heading to Florence, don’t miss Vestri where you can taste the finest chocolates in the world.
Wondering what type of chocolate is the best? Go for dark chocolate and the Sicilian orange gelato! If you are visiting the small hamlet of Cascina, discover legendary chocolatiers like Slitti at the spa resort of Monsummano Terme and Amedei. The best time for a visit is the month of February when the Handmade Chocolate Fair takes place in Florence. If you’re looking for a place to stay, why not book a Tuscan villa for rent luxury and enjoy the scenic view while you sip your wine and eat the best chocolates from this Italian region.
Cacao Sampaka, Barcelona, Spain
Head to a fantastic chocolate café called Cacao Sampaka in Barcelona, Spain! It was co-founded by Albert Adria, a Michelin star chef. Feast your eyes and taste buds with a panoply of chocolate, nuts and “churros”! The café offers traditional truffles and tablets. Different types of chocolate are also combined with various nuts and snacks, such as: fried corn and bitter chocolate, Parma ham flavoured bars, along with any flavours ranging from anchovies to Modena vinegar.
Are you sitting in the back-seating area? Order some churros and dark chocolate raspberry gelato for a heavenly experience! If you are visiting other cities or countries, you can visit branches of Cacao Sampaka in Madrid, Sao Paulo or Tokyo. Alternatively, order the chocolate of your choice at their online shop while enjoying a great holiday.
Paris is one of the most famous gourmet capitals in the world! The city houses more than 300 chocolate shops and they can be anything ranging from artisan chocolatiers or independent boutiques to famous chains. They are all popular for their excellence and innovation. Go on guided tours of the city to discover more about chocolate and its history.
Don’t miss the largest chocolate show in the world every second half of the year! It is held together with the World Chocolate Master Championships. You are lucky if your holiday trip coincides with this event. Make the most of it to taste dark chocolate which seems to be the specialty in Paris. Plus, the chocolatiers in the city are renowned for creating original recipes using cocoa beans together with high-quality ingredients.
Hotel Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
Are you heading to USA? Don’t miss the chance to go to Hershey, popularly known as the “Chocolatetown in USA”. At Hotel Hershey, get ready for a totally new experience with chocolate treatments at the spa. You are not only offered a massage or facial, but also chocolate fondue wraps, whipped cocoa baths, edible dark chocolate facials and chocolate sugar scrubs. Indulge into a sweet relaxation!
Hershey’s popularity does not limit itself to the spa! The Hershey Company and the H.B. Reese Candy Company are also found in the city. Taste some authentic Hershey chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Or, walk into one of the many candy and chocolate stores, such as: Grove Brittle Works, The Pantry Café or Sugar Mountain Cakes.
For anyone with a sweet craving, Brussels is a need. The largest and capital city of Belgium, Brussels, has earned the moniker “Chocolate Capitol of the World” for its abundance of chocolate stores; in fact, Brussels has more chocolatiers per square foot than any other city in the world. Godiva and Leonidas, two of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, are both based in Brussels. Passion Chocolat, Jean Galler, Wittamer, and Pierre Marcolini are a few of the well-known chocolatiers, but there are also many lesser-known but equally talented independent chocolatiers. You shouldn’t miss the Musee du Cocao et du Chocolate (Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate) while you’re in the area to learn about the origins of this delicious treat and how it is made. Another not-to-be-missed place as the grand dame of Belgian chocolate is Mary, which was formed in 1919. Since 1942, the Belgian Royal Family has made this store, located just a short distance from the palace, a favorite.
In addition to its stunning scenery and Swiss-like ambiance, Bariloche, a city in the Rio Negro region in the southern banks of Nahuel Huapi Lake, attracts tourists as a center for handmade ice cream and, more and more, for its chocolate. When some locals discovered they had access to an almost unlimited range of ingredients that weren’t yet reflected in the region’s gastronomy, the artisanal food and dessert trend began here over fifty years ago. Today, it’s a perfect destination for any cocoa aficionado, from conventional chocolate bars to all varieties of fruit-filled chocolate.
The Imhoff Stollwerck Museum, sometimes known locally as “the chocolate museum,” is the realization of Hans Imhoff’s lifetime desire. It is located in Cologne, the capital of Germany, and is home to the Stollwerck Chocolate Company, formerly the second-largest exporter of chocolate to America. He opened the museum in 1993 and worked with chocolate for almost his entire life. It has a massive chocolate fountain, interactive displays, and samples to honor the history of chocolate around the world. Even though Hans passed away in 2007, his wife Gerburg is now in charge of the museum. You can learn everything there is to know about chocolate right here.
Zurich, the city of the country where milk chocolate originated, is the ideal destination if you enjoy it. Zurich, home to plants and shops for Lindt, Teuscher, and Sprungli, is the center of chocolate manufacture in the nation with the highest per capita consumption of chocolate in the world. The Lindt & Sprungli chocolate factory, one of Zurich’s top tourist destinations, includes a museum detailing the history of the company, an engaging tour, and plenty of complimentary chocolate samples.
Take a journey on the Swiss Chocolate Train, which begins from Montreaux, stops in Gruyeres, where Gruyere cheese is produced, and then continues on to Broc, where you can have a tour of the Cailler-Nestle factory. The Bahnhofstrasse, the priciest street in Zurich, is where you can discover some of the top chocolate producers in the world along with Chanel, Armani, and Louis Vuitton. More than a hundred distinct delicacies are available at Teuscher, a little chocolate shop, all of which are prepared using age-old, chemical-free recipes. The Dom Perignon champagne, buttercream, and black ganache used to make the iconic Champagne Truffles are world-famous.
New York City, New York
You can sample chocolates from all over the world in New York City, where the chocolatiers are a very diverse bunch who come from many different nations and bring their best chocolate recipes with them. A chocolate-focused tour like the Brooklyn Chocolate Tour or New York Chocolate Tasting Experience is one of the greatest ways to enjoy the incredible diversity. The tours offer the chance to learn about the history of the places you visit and enjoy scrumptious chocolates from some of the best stores in the city. While La Maison du Chocolat, one of the city’s top Parisian chocolatiers, is renowned for elevating chocolate to a luxury good, you may discover the best of the best at Jacques Torres Chocolate, including pain au chocolat (chocolate pastry).
The history and culture of Oaxaca are intricately entwined with chocolate. As early as 1100 BC, the ancient Mesoamericans in the area were the world’s first chocolatiers, and Mexico has continued to make it ever since. Visitors will discover that it’s impossible to go down the street in Oaxaca without being served chocolate in some form, whether it be a hot beverage, pastry, or candy. Mina Street, which is home to Mayordomo, Guelaguetza, and La Soledad, is arguably the best “sweet street” in the entire world. Here, you can observe traditional chocolate production in action and discover how it’s used in desserts and many other dishes. A large portion of the chocolate produced in the city is manufactured using traditional family recipes that have been passed down through the years, ground by hand or with an electric grinder, and blended by hand.
For chocolate lovers, Costa Rica is another excellent tropical location. It has been customary in this place for a very long time to collect chocolate beans from cocoa trees. Before the arrival of coffee and tobacco in the late 1700s, the beans were one of the primary crops and were utilized by local tribes throughout pre-Columbian times. The Caribbean lowlands in Costa Rica, where the climate is ideal and it rains frequently, are where the majority of the country’s cocoa is grown. Due to the fact that cocoa requires shade to develop, it has also helped to preserve many forests and the fauna of the nation, which seeks refuge on the estates. Many of the plantations provide excursions, and Cacao Trails in Limon offers interactive chocolate tours where tourists may learn about the history of the region’s cacao.
You might be shocked to learn that this well-known Caribbean Island, which is well-known for its gorgeous beaches and warm, turquoise waters, is also one of the top locations for an exotic chocolate trip. Several hotels cater to chocolate lovers, and some of them even have their own cocoa estates. With beans farmed on its cocoa estate, Hotel Chocolat Boucan, a tiny business owned by an English chocolatier, creates delicious chocolate. The hotel also offers “cacao cuisine,” an extensive menu of wonderful meals designed to celebrate the pleasures of cocoa. Also, visitors can engage in exclusive “Cocoa Juvenate” spa services.
London could be the most fascinating city in the entire world when it comes to artisanal chocolate. A few years ago, when hundreds of upscale chocolatiers started making what many consider to be the best chocolate in the world, England had a true “chocolate revolution.” The city takes pleasure in having some of the most luxurious chocolate shops, which dominate the complex chocolate scene in London and include Paul A Young, Rococo, and Hotel Chocolat. Today’s chocolatiers no longer create the previously extremely sweet products; instead, they use only the best, frequently local ingredients, such as goat’s cheese and caramelized rose petals, and eschew preservatives and chemicals. The aroma that permeates the streets is nearly overwhelming because they are frequently prepared in the stores, such Paul A. Young’s in Camden Passage.
The modest hamlet of Villajoyosa, also referred to as “Chocolate City,” is one of the most historic locations for chocolate tourism. It began importing cocoa beans from Venezuela and Ecuador in the 18th century. A master chocolatier since 1881, Valor Chocolate, one of the oldest and most prominent chocolate manufacturers in all of Spain, is located there. The factory has always been family-owned and is located in a lovely finca, or country estate, from the 19th century. Moreover, Valor gives tours of the facility and welcomes guests to their free on-site museum, where they can learn all about the craft of creating chocolate. A fantastic local specialty is their chocolate with churros, so make sure to taste it.
Swiss chocolate and South African chocolate share a lot of the same traditions. The well-known Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt operates official Chocolate Studios in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Nestle and Cadbury also have plants there. The majority of the country’s chocolate output is produced in the eastern side of the country. South Africa is a global leader in traditional milk chocolate and has devoted more effort to developing sugar-free and lactose-free versions, both of which can be found at ChocoTree in Johannesburg.
Everyone like chocolate. After all, chocolate has been a part of our diet in some capacity for more than 3,000 years. Antioxidants in chocolate are healthy for the heart and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, two conditions with established health benefits. Yet, that shouldn’t be a justification for indulging, simply another justification. There are numerous regions of the world where chocolate is produced and where you can savor the sweet treat, but Europeans tend to lead the pack when it comes to reaching for a chocolate delight. For those who enjoy chocolate, visiting the places mentioned above will be a sweet delight.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, choose your favourite destination and get ready for a chocolatey adventure!