Although some people have allergies, and others prefer different tastes, it is generally safe to say that people all around the world love chocolate. This dark confectionary has been a favorite of many for hundreds of years, and it celebrated at festivals and in homes across the globe. Not only is it a long-celebrated sweet, it can also be prepared over a hundred different ways, with just as many varieties, from dark to milk. Anywhere you go, you can find chocolate made in a way that was entirely new to you, from fondue fountains, to being iced with oranges. So I thought I would spend some time and talk about my favorite chocolates from all over the place.
As the cultured woman that I am, I would be remiss if I did not include the Salon du Chocolat, located in Paris. This chocolate studio hosts events dedicated to the sweet frequently, and has branches in cities around the world, like Tokyo. Notably, they host an annual chocolate fashion show- where their chocolatiers work with actual designers to create couture, high-fashion pieces, literally made entirely out of chocolate.
People don’t just celebrate chocolate at festivals, they even do it in their hometowns. There are several cities known exclusively for their chocolate production, such as Hershey, Pennsylvania, and St. Stephen, in New Brunswick. This is Canada’s unofficial “Chocolate Town,” where locals and tourists can enjoy chocolate themed activities, amongst an entire chocolate menu, lunch and dinner, during their annual Chocolate Fest. Hershey is the home of the original chocolate-making company, and boasts of still owning the first chocolate factory, and the best chocolate this side of the pond.
With the continuance of the deforestation of our planet’s rainforests, the cacao bean, from which chocolate is derived, is quickly becoming an endangered plant. However, many people have worked hard to prevent this natural disaster from taking place. This includes the people who live on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. The temperature of this tropical paradise is ideal for growing, and the locals have taken up the cause, growing trees in abundance, to the point where you can just pick the bean right off to enjoy, although I recommend smaller servings. They’ve also taken to infusing various tropical fruits with their chocolate, like coconut and guava, creating flavor combinations unique to this island in the sun.
On the other hand, the town of York, in the United Kingdom, has had a long history with chocolate. Although not as in-depth as Germany or Italy, this town nonetheless celebrates their relationship with this sweet by having created a chocolate vodka. However, this doesn’t even compare with the small country of Belgium, where they continue to produce over 170,000 tons of chocolate, every year.
There you have it, a small sampling of some of my noted chocolate from around the world. Whether dark or light, iced or hot, this sweet continues to be my second best friend, and my teeth’s worst enemy. For a bite of chocolate, I wouldn’t have it any other way.