Chocolate. Chances are, you like it. In fact, you may even love it (I know I do).
And did you know that there are places in the world that cater to us chocolate lovers? The next time you're planning a trip and would like to indulge your sweet tooth, consider these five destinations.
Swiss chocolate has a reputation a good reputation. Chocolate produced in Switzerland is renowned around the world, and Zurich is home to some powerhouse chocolate producers, including Lindt, Treuscher, and Sprungli, who all have factories and stores there.
If you're interested in a truly unique chocolate experience in Switzerland, consider the Swiss Chocolate Train. This includes a train ride through the Swiss countryside from Montreaux to Broc, ending with a chocolate tasting and tour at the Cailler-Nestle chocolate factory.
Perhaps just as famous as Swiss chocolate is Belgian chocolate. In fact, the Belgian capital of Brussels is often referred to as the Chocolate Capital of the World. The city has more chocolatiers per square foot than any other city, including Godiva and Leonidas (two of the largest chocolate companies in the world).
In Brussels, you'll want to check out the Musee du Cocao et du Chocolate (Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate), sign up for the Chocolate Academy a Zaabar, or go on a chocolate walking tour.
The U.S. isn't often viewed as a chocolate paradise, but Americans definitely like it. In Pennsylvania, you'll find the town of Hershey referred to today as the "Sweetest Place on Earth," since it's home to both The Hershey Company and the H.B. Reese Candy Company. You can do some tastings at Hershey Chocolate World, or even enjoy a chocolate spa treatment at the Hotel Hershey.
On the other coast, in San Francisco, you'll find Ghirardelli, one of the oldest chocolate factories in the U.S. Today, Ghirardelli Square is a symbol of San Francisco and is a great place to visit for some free, sweet treats.
Did you know that the Spanish were the first to bring chocolate to Europe from South America? Thanks to this historical quirk, Spain has long been a great place to visit for chocolate lovers.
You'll find the Museu De La Xocolata (Museum of Chocolate) in Barcelona, where the first chocolate-making machine was built in 1780. And in Villajoyosa you'll find Valor Chocolate, one of the oldest chocolate factories in Spain. For a twists, try the popular churros con chocolate; delicious pastries dipped in cups of melted chocolate.
Lastly, Mexico is also another great place for those who love chocolate especially the foodie haven of Oaxaca. Here, chocolate is part of the city's culture. This is mostly because the world's first chocolatiers were from this region people have been making chocolate here since roughly 1100 BC.
In Oaxaca, watch some traditional chocolate making on Mina Street, or take a tour to a nearby cacao plantation.
Which country would the chocolate lover in YOU most like to visit?
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Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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