Chocoholics Unite: 2009
Imagine if all the chocoholics could share their best fixes. Are any chocolate factories still giving tours? In your travels, what sinful treat best satisfies that urge for something chocolaty?
Read the Distillation: Chocoholics Unite, 2005
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Belgian Chocolate in Amsterdam
During my 2008 stay in Amsterdam every morning I would stop into a Leonidas store and get 2 pieces of the rich milk chocolate. One gianduja and one rum truffle! Oh I can still taste it! Soooo good! The best chocolate that I've ever had in my entire life!
Jacksonville, Fl USA Thu 12/31/2009
Chocolate in Bruge
The best chocolate shop in Bruge is a small store called Dumont. Wonderful Belgium chocolate.
Denver, co USA Fri 12/04/2009
Chocolate heaven is in Torino
In fact the best chocolate artisans can be found in Torino (Turin), Italy. They have a long standing tradition and as former capital of Savoie, it's from Turin that the Swiss have imported chocolate - later mixed with milk. Instead in Turin chocolate is mixed wih a rare kind of hazelnut that give it a unique flavor called gianduia. They have a huge and delicious choc festival every year in Spring:
Paris, France Thu 12/03/2009
True chocolate lovers can't miss the Cioccolata fesitval in Perugia, Italy. It is the biggest in Europe (I think) and takes place every October. The streets are full of chocolate vendors selling their goods and giving out free samples.
Westport, CT USA Sat 09/05/2009
Chocolate Walk in Paris
In Paris, I took Context Tour's "Chocolate Walk" and really enjoyed it. A great balance of history and chocolate sampling! I wrote about the experience here: http://hipparis.com/2009/06/04/following-the-chocolate-in-paris/
Montreal, QC USA Thu 09/03/2009
Chocolate tour in Paris
Take the ParisWalks 2-hour chocolate walking (and tasting) tour of Paris, with lots of history and anecdotes. It was fascinating and yummy, visiting the best chocolatiers in the world capital of dark chocolate.
Angelina's has amazing hot chocolate. They also sell the powder to take home (I haven't tried it yet, waiting for cold weather). BTW, it is on the right bank, a couple minutes walk from the Tuileries Gardens.
Tel Aviv, Israel Thu 08/27/2009
French chocolate-Tain L'Hermitage
If you happen to find yourself near the French town of Tain L'Hermitage, don't pass it up. It's the home of Valrhona (valley of the Rhone)chocolate. The shop has bowls of free samples out for self service and if a kind you want to try isn't there, the counter staff are happy to get you a piece. They have lots of kinds of bars and filled chocolates that I've never seen in the U.S. Tain and its medieval sister across the river, Tournon, are worth visiting for their own sake. Also, the area produces excellent wines; and there are many caves offering degustation. Great wine, great chocolate, bliss!
Berkeley, CA USA Mon 07/13/2009
I lived in Switzerland as an exchange student in college-- some of the best chocolate is also the cheapest! Migro (cheap grocery store) chocolate is amazing.. the package isn't much, but the taste is amazing.
Houston, TX USA Fri 06/26/2009
La Maison is also in London. We go religiously when we visit. I highly recommend it! Like Tiffany for chocolate. Make sure to bring some truffles home.
Denver, CO USA Sun 05/31/2009
Angelina's in Paris, very close to d'Orsay, is a sight to behold. A bit on the pricey side, but worth the splurge. The ambiance is old-world Parisian. We had a light lunch, finished with drinking chocolate. Three of us shared one serving, and it was a challenge to finish the rich, dark, thick, luscious drink. The bowl of whipped cream is necessary to 'cut' the chocolate to drinkable consistency. But what a way to go!
Portland, OR USA Fri 05/29/2009
We just got back from a trip to Italy and a ond day stop in Paris. We went to the top hot chocolate spots. We tried Rivoire in Florence and it was delish. Also went to Angelina's in Paris and it was so, so yummy.We definitely agree with the posts and urge others to try these places as well. 3/2009
Anaheim, ca USA Thu 04/02/2009
My picks after extensive searching in Manhattan and Europe: La Maison du Chocolat (Paris (plus two branches in Manhattan!)) Galler Chocolates (not the chocolate bars in the grocery store but the actual pralines/truffles in the store) (Brussels) Elisabeth Chocolates (Brussels)
Also, totally have to disagree with Leonidas fans out there--those chocolates are too sweet and not chocolate-y enough. No thank you!
My philosophy: chocolate should be savored slowly, white chocolate doesn't count, dark chocolate is normally best (though sometimes nothing beats the melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate), and for the purposes of determining the best chocolate, cheapness is not a virtue.
New York, NY USA Tue 03/03/2009
Chocolate, the bliss
One word you need to know in France for chocolate: Leonidas. Look for the yellow and white awnings for their shops. They are all over Paris, and in Calais as well. The liquid caramel in dark chocolate has been known to cause levitation(jk!)Seriously, ANY chocolate item found in Europe (note I did not say the UK) is 100% better than anything found in the US.
Laguna Niguel, Ca. USA Wed 02/18/2009