Chocolate eggs have invaded the shelves and gourmets among you are preparing for countless Easter tastings, but do you know the origin of the cacao beans that make up this chocolate? Did you know that a Canadian eats an average of 6.4 kilograms of chocolate per year? Let’s explore the world and discover the best destinations for cacao lovers.
Cacao, like gold, has its own stock market price, and chocolate-producing countries prepare unparalleled colourful beans to transport them to the world’s most reputable nations for bars, eggs and sweet bites with intoxicating properties!
In addition to famous Leonidas and Godiva houses, Belgium has a dozen factories, fifteen museums and over 2000 chocolate shops in Brussels and throughout the entire country. With the highest density of chocolate shops in Europe, Bruges is often nicknamed the capital of chocolate. Every year, Bruges in Choc, a colourful festival, is held here and fans will not want to miss the Choco-Story Chocolate Museum!
It’s a safe bet that if someone mentions “chocolate”, you will automatically think of the makers of Switzerland, whose people are among the largest consumers of truffles, bars and sweet delights transformed on the planet. Nestle, Toblerone, Lindt and Sprungli are just some of Europe’s leading chocolatiers.
Few visitors think of Spain when planning a trip around chocolate, but we must not forget the origins of cacao bean transformation. The Spaniards were the first importers to the Old Continent and the first chocolate machine was manufactured there in the 18th century. For cacao fanatics, head for Villajoyosa, the Spanish city of chocolate.
The vast arteries of Paris house some of the most popular chocolate shops in the world, in excess of 300. The French capital is not the only chocolate destination in France. The Cité du Chocolat Valrhona and the Tain-L’Hermitage chocolate school welcome tens of thousands of travellers every year who come to indulge in their dose of chocolate!
Producer of fino aroma cacao, one of the world’s highest-quality beans, Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter. Combine your explorations of the Amazon rainforest with a visit to a farm or a trip along the Ruta del Cacao, a must for this chocolate destination!
The Mayans were the first chocolatiers in the world, drinking a mixture of cacao beans. The region of Oaxaca is considered the cradle of chocolate and this ingredient is still used in some sauces like mole.
Good places to eat chocolate in Europe are legion! With the Turin bicerin and the Tuscan Chocolate Valley in Italy, the Viennese Sachertorte or the Cologne Chocolate Museum in Germany, your discoveries are just beginning! During a trip to the South, it is rather the plantations and trees full of red, yellow and orange beans that you will admire. These explorations will help you close the loop and learn more about the origins of chocolate!
Book your flight to one of these chocolate destinations now!
Have a nice trip!
Cover photo credits: Canva