Top 5 Destinations for Chocolate Lovers
Who doesn’t love chocolate? And what could be better than tasting chocolate around the world? Doreen Pendgracs, a globe-trotting chocolate connoisseur, lists her top picks for best chocolate destinations.
I love chocolate and I love to travel, so seeking out destinations that cater to my sweet tooth has become an obsession. Fortunately, with chocolate’s growing popularity as a new super food with an extensive list of health benefits, it’s become a relatively easy task to find destinations that satisfy even the most discerning chocolate connoisseur.
If you’re a chocolate addict like me, you’ll want to check out these top 5 destinations for chocolate lovers:
The most obvious destination for chocolate lovers is Belgium. You can’t go more than a few steps without coming upon another chocolate shop. The capital city of Brussels is known to have more high-end chocolateries per square mile than any other city in the world. The smaller Belgian city of Bruges also offers an abundance of chocolate shops in an historic and relaxed setting. Belgium is the perfect place for people who love silky smooth chocolate with a touch of elegance, and La Grand-Place in Brussels has a broader selection of it than anywhere else on earth.
A very close second is Switzerland. The Swiss invented milk chocolate and so Switzerland is the place to go if you prefer a milky and slightly sweeter style of chocolate. The Swiss not only make great chocolate, they eat it in abundance and consistently hold the record for eating the most chocolate per capita. Take the time to stroll the streets of Zurich and you will be bedazzled by the colourful window displays of the chocolate shops that draw you into a fantasyland of sweet treats for all ages.
No list of chocolate destinations is complete without mention of Paris, France. The French make exquisite chocolate, elegant and sophisticated without being too sweet. And Paris is the hotbed of French chocolate, boasting more than 300 chocolate shops to entice you. It’s also well worth a mention that Paris is home to the finest macarons you will find on the planet (a meringue-based confectionery that comes in a multitude of flavours—including chocolate.)
If you love deep, dark chocolate, then head to Italy. The Italians are real purists when it comes to chocolate. Tuscany actually has an area called the “Chocolate Valley” and is home to a number of excellent chocolatiers. Northern Italy has its own style of chocolate and is primarily into hazelnut pralines called gianduiotto, while the city of Turin (Torino) is famous for its gianduiotto as well as its Bicerin, a hot drink made with chocolate, coffee and steamed cream. Almost every establishment you visit will make it slightly different and will tell you that they like to keep their recipe a secret; this hot delicacy is not to be missed by any chocolate lover who visits northern Italy.
My personal favourite chocolate destination right now is London, England. London (and the whole of the U.K. for that matter) has recently undergone a “chocolate revolution” that spawned a whole new breed of chocolatier. Gone are the days of the overly sweet chocolate that the Brits were once known for. In its place is chocolate created by young, progressive men and women who are among the most passionate chocolate lovers you will ever find. They are experimental in the flavours they offer and use only the finest and freshest ingredients. Hats off to London for being a trendsetter in music, fashion and now artisanal chocolate.