You can take your chocolate addiction worldwide with these chocoholic experiences, allowing you to live out your most appetising dessert-filled dreams
Dating back thousands of years to 1900 BCE, cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate has been around for a long time, but its popularity is far from waning. In fact, there’s an ever-increasing cacao demand, and the chocolate industry continues to grow. Given that chocolate has a combination of sensory characteristics – texture, aroma and sweetness – and contains potentially mood-altering substances, it explains this rise in figures and why so many of us are now burgeoning chocoholics.
At World Travel Guide we’re not here to judge – instead we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 chocoholic experiences around the globe – perfect for getting that chocolate fix.
Chocolate indulgence: The Chocolate Spa Club, Hotel Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
If dunking yourself into a bath of foaming whipped cocoa sounds like your type of spa treatment – then book yourself into The Chocolate Spa Club at Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania, established by Milton S. Hershey, the world-famous chocolatier. This luxurious spa takes the chocolate experience to a whole other level with its indulgent chocolate-inspired packages.
Some of the most mouth-watering treatments include a chocolate fondue wrap, cocoa massages and facials, as well as a chocolate sugar scrub and a strawberry parfait scrub. You can take the pampering a little further by checking into Hotel Hershey for the night with its plush suites and cosy woodside cottages.
Before you go, check out the Pennsylvania travel guide.
Chocolate exploring: Chuao, Venezuela
Want to get back to the basics and know exactly where the glorious chocolate you eat comes from? Then make your way to the rainforests of Venezuela to explore the country’s iconic chocolate farms. These farms (haciendas) have a long and complicated history – their existence came under threat during the 19th century when plagues nearly exterminated the Criollo tree (which produces one of the most sought-after cacao beans in the world). In more recent times, they’ve bounced back, owing to a surge in demand for single-origin chocolates.
For an utterly off-the-tourist-highway chocolate experience, journey to the small village of Chuao. This village on the northern coast of Venezuela is famous for its cacao plantations, Diablos Danzantes and San Juaneras. These plantations have been here for over 400 years, growing Criollo and hybrid varieties of cacao. Chuao beans are of very high quality and are considered to be the world’s finest cocoa beans together with Porcelana Blanca beans from Lake Maracaibo.
Before you go, check out the Venezuela travel guide.
Chocolate feasting: Chocolate Street, Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca, a city in central Mexico, is sure to excite all chocolate lovers as its relationship with chocolate is unwavering and has lasted centuries as the locals believe that chocolate possesses some mystical powers. The cocoa culture here is almost overwhelming with chocolate in various forms (toasted, fermented, ground by itself, and ground with sugar, cinnamon or almonds) sold on every street corner and market.
In Oaxaca, the morning drink of choice is not coffee; it’s hot chocolate – one part fresh powdered cocoa with two parts sugar, plus some cinnamon powder. Dedicated chocoholics should also head to Mina Street, which is coined ‘the chocolate street’, as well as Mercado 20 de Noviembre to wander around the collection of popular chocolate shops, and taste the efforts of the local chocolate brands.
Chocolate learning: Shiroi Koibito Park, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Ever heard of Shiroi Koibito? If yes, then well done! If not, then you’re one step closer to being a global chocoholic. Shiroi Koibito translates into ‘White Lover’ and is an extremely popular chocolate snack in Japan consisting of a creamy white chocolate filling sandwiched between two squares of cookie-esque deliciousness.
The home of Shiroi Koibito is Sapporo, where you can discover Shiroi Koibito Park. Run by Ishiya, the company that produces this treat, it’s a sort of theme park, with shops and a chocolate factory that would make even Willie Wonka jealous. Families can take tours of the factory, attend cookery classes and visit the two museums – one contains a collection of the best teacups from around the world, and the other is a museum of children’s toys, most of which are collector’s items. If all that exploring has made you hungry, you can feast on scrumptious hot chocolates, cakes and Shiroi Koibito cookies at the café.
Chocolate drinking: Various locations, Belgium
What chocolate lover hasn’t been wooed and seduced by enticing Belgian chocolates? This European country’s chocolate industry dates back to the 19th century, and today it makes up a major part of the nation’s economy. With years of practice, Belgians have now mastered the art of chocolate perfection, which is evident in its selection of charming cafés and low-lit lounges that dish out the best choco(alco)holic drinks.
One of the most popular chocolate hotspots can be found in Ghent, 57km or 35 miles northwest of Brussels. Once here, look for the Mayana Chocolate Bar. Designed with dessert and chocolate lovers in mind, you will not be disappointed by the array of tempting alcohol and chocolate combinations – choctails as we like to call them. The chocolate milk with Amaretto is always a winner, or you can keep things more relaxed with their rich hot chocolates and thick chocolate milkshakes. If that’s not enough, you can also tuck into creamy bowls of mousse and brownies alongside your beverages. Alternatively, grab a combination of two Belgian favourites by ordering a chocolate beer at the Delirium Café in Brussels – a particular favourite of the most devoted chocolate lovers!
Before you go, check out the Belgium travel guide.
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