Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Indulge in Chocolate in these Sweet Cities

Let’s face it, chocolate is one of the best guilty pleasures around. Chocolate is a decadent treat loved by many. If you or someone you know is a chocolate lover, consider a trip to one (or all) of these chocolate havens. Your sweet tooth will be supremely satisfied!

Broc, Switzerland
Many famous chocolate brands call Switzerland home: Lindt, Toblerone and Nesquik®, just to name a few. It’s no secret that Switzerland is widely known for their delicious Swiss chocolate, but there are still a few hidden chocolate gems to be found. For instance, take a scenic (and tasty) tour through serene landscape aboard The Swiss Chocolate Train. Stops include a tour of the famous Cailler-Nestlé factory in Broc.

Oaxaca, Mexico
Stroll down Mina Street, or Chocolate Road as it’s known in Oaxaca, and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a street dotted with small chocolate shops. The residents of the area consume significantly more chocolate than other people in Mexico, thanks to the popularity of chocolate in the region.1 While chocolate bars and sweets are abundant, the most popular way to consume chocolate here is in hot milk or water to make either “chocolate de leche” or “chocolate de agua”. The best hot chocolate is served foamy with a side of sweet bread. Yum!

Brussels, Belgium
Over 172,000 tons of chocolate are produced in Belgium per year and there are more than 2,000 chocolate shops throughout the small country (which is the size of Maryland).2 But perhaps the most famous chocolate that Belgium is known for is the praline – a layer of chocolate surrounding a soft fondant center. Belgium is filled with events and museums that pay tribute to its famous chocolate but one of the most interesting is the Chocolate Academy at Zaabär where you can learn insider secrets to chocolate making.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona was the first city in Europe where chocolate was imported from Mexico.3 Ever since, Barcelona has been a chocolate lover’s paradise. A visit to Museu de la Xocolata, The Chocolate Museum, run by local confectionaries, shows just how much this city has been inspired by chocolate. At the Museu de la Xocolata you can see extraordinary chocolate sculptures including a giant chariot with chocolate horses and huge chocolate windmills. The museum also hosts children’s workshops and tastings of local specialties.

San Francisco, California
Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is home to one of the oldest and most historic chocolate factories in the country – Ghiradelli.4 Each year this famous chocolate company hosts a Chocolate Festival in Ghiradelli Square. The festival is a two day long celebration of chocolate with tastings, live music and ice cream eating contests. Tours of the chocolate factory are available and you can visit the functioning old-school chocolate room in the basement of the factory.


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