Chocolate is a sweet treat many of us simply cannot resist. That is why I know you are more than ready to help me celebrate National Chocolate Day! If you are like me, you have your favorite types of chocolate candies and desserts. But have you spent time trying chocolate in the different destinations you visit when you take family vacations? Some people do and some don’t. I am the type of person who will try chocolate when I am traveling. Especially if I am in a destination known for its local chocolate. Today, I am going to share more about all thing’s chocolate. You may want to be ready to grab a piece or two of chocolate to eat before you are finished reading.
Chocolate has been consumed since the times of Mesoamerica. However, scientists are still trying to prove that point. They are getting close though. Back in 2007, anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania found cacao residue on pottery that had been excavated in Honduras. The pottery dated back to 1400 BCE. It is believed the cacao fruit was fermented to create an alcoholic beverage.
Chocolate back then was more bitter. It wasn’t until America was discovered that sweetened chocolate was consumed. Hernando Cortes was one of the first explorers to consume the chocolate drink. He thought it was too bitter. However, over in Spain, people began to mix it with cane sugar or honey to make it sweeter.
Chocolate drinks were considered a fashionable drink during the 17th century. Powdered chocolate was created in 1828 by a Dutch chemist. The chocolate bar wasn’t invented until 1847. That was when Joseph Fry realized he could create a chocolate bar by mixing melted cacao butter with Dutch cocoa.
Cadbury began making chocolate candies in 1868. Today’s chocolate treats are made with the least flavorful of all the cacao bean varieties. This is to try to keep the chocolate treats more affordable.
You can easily find chocolate no matter where you go for your family vacation. However, if you want to indulge in some of the best chocolate in the world in celebration of National Chocolate Day, I recommend you consider these destinations.
Switzerland has long been known for its delicious chocolate. One of the oldest chocolate factories, in Switzerland and the world, is Maison Cailler. From the outside, this factory looks like a manor house. But inside is where all the magic occurs.
Other must-visit chocolate factories and stores in Switzerland include Sprungli, Teuscher, and Lindt.
Brussels has earned the nickname, Chocolate Capital of the World. There are more chocolate shops per square foot in the city than anywhere else in the world. Needless to say, you will always find chocolate when you need it in Brussels!
Godiva and Leonidas are both located in Brussels. A visit to the Musee du Cocao et du Chocolate is a must for chocolate lovers too.
This city of love is known for its gourmet foods. While many families grab croissants and baguettes during their vacation in Paris, you may want to focus on the chocolate. There are more than three hundred chocolate shops in this city.
Dark chocolate is Paris’ speciality. Keep this in mind, as you sign up for one of the many chocolate walking tours.
You may want to take a family vacation in Italy to try all the fine wines. I recommend checking out the chocolate when you are there too! The Chocolate Valley is an area that was formed between Pisa, Florence, and Montecatini. There are multiple gourmet shops and factories that sell lots of chocolate.
Vestri is one of the best places to try the chocolate in this area. The wait to get in is always long, but worth every second.
Learning about chocolate is simple at the Imhoff Stollwerck Museum. This museum was opened by Hans Imhoff and is now run by his wife. Inside the museum, you can learn all about the history of chocolate. The most popular exhibit is the massive chocolate fountain.
Make sure you take the time to stop at the Stollwerck Chocolate Company to buy chocolate. This company used to be the second largest supplier of chocolate sent to the US.
No one really thinks all their chocolate dreams can come true down in the Caribbean. However, when you take a family vacation in St. Lucia, you can experience an exotic chocolate holiday. A few of the resorts have their own cocoa plantations. Those resorts focus on numerous chocolate events your entire family will enjoy.
These are some of the best places to take a family vacation when you want to experience all things chocolate. If none of these destinations interest you, I can share a few others with you during our planning session.
If you said yes, I would like to invite you to schedule a planning session with me by clicking here. When you click on this link, you will be taken directly to my digital calendar to schedule a time that is convenient for you.
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