Five Must-Visit Places for Chocoholics
Chocolate has made manâ€™s life taste better ever since the time of the Aztecs, who considered it food of the gods. Centuries have passed since then, but the sweet taste of chocolate is still, if not more, popular. After visiting the best chocolate museums on Earth, itâ€™s time to journey to the worldâ€™s five most important chocolate capitals.
Literally translated as â€œthe happy townâ€, La Villajoyosa is also known as â€œthe chocolate city”, for its long chocolate-producing history, dating back to the 18th century. La Villajoyosa linked its name to chocolate when it first started importing cocoa from Ecuador and Venezuela.
Nowadays La Villajoyosa is famous as the home of Valor, one of the most popular chocolate brands in all of Europe. As a chocoholic, youâ€™ll want to savor some Churros (a local bakery specialty) dipped in hot chocolate.
Home to the Valrhona chocolate factory and its Ecole du Grand Chocolat, the small town of Tain Lâ€™Hermitage is the place to visit in France, if youâ€™re hooked on fine chocolate. The most talented â€œchocolatiersâ€™ come to this famed school to learn the secrets of gourmet chocolate from the masters. Just so you can get an idea of what this place means for chocolate, students gladly pay over $1,000 for only three days of training.
But you donâ€™t have to be a chocolatier to appreciate Train Lâ€™Hermitage, you just have to love chocolate and wine. Tours of the Valrhona chocolate factory will reveal some of the most exquisite chocolate specialties youâ€™ve ever tasted.
The city of San Francisco definitely has to be considered as one of the leading chocolate capitals of the world. Home to Ghirardelli, Americaâ€™s longest continuously operating chocolate manufacturer, and one of the few with a complete production cycle, starting from cultivating the cocoa bean all the way to the finished product.
But San Francisco is home to other legendary chocolate makers like Scharffen Berger, who offers free tours and treats six times a day. If youâ€™re ever in the Bay Area, you donâ€™t want to miss learning about San Franciscoâ€™s chocolaty history, while stuffing your face with delicious brown tiles.
Try as we might, we couldnâ€™t find a chocolate center, if you will, in all of Belgium. In a country with 12 chocolate factories, 16 chocolate museums and over 2,100 chocolate shops, itâ€™s had to find a town or village that doesnâ€™t have its own delicious chocolate brand.
Belgian chocolate brands like Godiva, Guylian or Leonidas are appreciated worldwide for their deliciousness and beautifully crafted chocolate pieces. Producing over 172,000 tons of chocolate every year, Belgium is definitely not-to-be-missed by any self-respecting chocoholic.
We couldnâ€™t complete our journey through the world of chocolate without mentioning Switzerland, the country with the largest chocolate consumption rate in the world (11.6 kg per person per year). And Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, is home to the chocolate triumvirate of Lindt-Teuscher-Sprungli.
There are many confiseries and chocolateries where you can experience the deliciousness of Swiss chocolate, but the Sprungli Confiserie, one of the cityâ€™s largest chocolate shops, has the reputation of â€œchocolate heavenâ€.