World Chocolate Day 2023: Chocolate is different things to different people. It can be called a comfort, an escape, an ingredient, an art form, a symbol of love and much more. If you're a true chocolate aficionado, there are ways to take your passion even further. Certain places in the world are renowned for their role in shaping the history of chocolate as well as taking it to new heights over the centuries. These international chocolate hotspots have a range of experiences that could be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. If travel is part of your bucket list, you should be adding these places to it:
Also Read: Is Chocolate Good For You? 4 Tips To Choose The Right One
Here Are 5 Dream Destinations For Chocolate Lovers:
1. Brussels, Belgium
Just hearing the words "Belgian chocolate" is enough to make our mouths water. Did you know that Belgium's capital city, Brussels, is often considered the chocolate capital of the world? It is home to innumerable chocolate companies, shops, chocolatiers and other types of outlets selling chocolatey treats. That sounds like our definition of heaven! In the Grand Place neighbourhood, one can visit shops of famous Belgian chocolate brands like Godiva, Neuhaus and Leonidas. There's also the Musee du Cacao et des Chocolat (Museum of Cocoa and Chocolates) in the same locality. But that's not the only chocolate museum in the city. One can also visit the immersive Belgian Chocolate Village (Choco-Story Brussels) for tasting, demonstrations, workshops and much more. Tickets here begin at 13 Euros.
2. Zurich, Switzerland:
Swiss chocolate brands are also among the most beloved worldwide. Zurich is considered the country's chocolate capital, and it shows you that there's more to the Swiss than just Toblerone. One can visit ateliers and flagship stores of age-old chocolate manufacturers such as Confiserie Honold, Laderach, Teuscher and others. But the Lindt Chocolate Museum - located a short ride away - is an attraction you definitely won't want to miss. It is especially known for its stunning chocolate fountain, which is over 9 metres tall! Ticket prices begin at 15 CHF. Elsewhere in the country, the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Broc also promises to be an incredible experience.
3. Paris, France
It is said that the French eat 6-8 kilograms of chocolate per year! So it is no surprise that the capital city has so many treats in store. Paris is famous for its bakeries, patisseries as well as chocolateries (chocolate shops). One can spend days roaming around the artisanal shops and chocolate museums in the city. One of the oldest establishments is Debauve & Gallais, which has been around since the early 1800s. There are also many relatively (more) recent yet iconic chocolatiers, such as La Maison du Chocolat, Pierre Hermé, and Jacques Genin. The city also hosts the annual Salon du Chocolat (Paris Chocolate Show) near the end of October. Now that's a trade fair we foodies will rush to line up for!
4. Lima, Peru
Outside of Europe, Peru is a must-visit for chocolate aficionados. After all, the history of chocolate began in South America. One can explore the country through walking tours that will introduce you to its distinctive chocolates as well as coffee. At the Choco Museo in Lima, one can learn about the role of cacao in Peruvian culture, traditional chocolate-making techniques, as well as how to prepare some at home. Entry is free. Lima is also home to shops of amazing domestic brands that have won international recognition: Roselen Chocolatier, Cacaosuyo, Helena Chocolatier and others.
5. Turin, Italy
Fun fact: Nutella was first created in Turin in 1946 by an Italian baker named Pietro Ferrero. But Turin has many other fascinating inventions too. For scrumptious handcrafted chocolates and other delights, head to Caffarel, Guido Castagna, Peyrano, Baratti & Milano and Guido Gobino. You'll find these reputed chocolate houses in the city itself. Other parts of the country also have interesting experiences to offer. For instance, the Eurochocolate Festival is one of Europe's largest chocolate festivals held every year in Perugia. As if we needed any more reasons to visit Italy!
When in Europe, chocolate lovers may also want to go to Cologne, Germany and Vienna, Austria. They are renowned for their wonderful contributions to the production of chocolate. It feels like there's so much to see but so little time, right? Which of these places would you like to visit first? Let us know in the comments below.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.