Achieving The Ultimate Chocolate Experience

It is a rare person indeed who does not succumb to the allure of chocolate’s melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Somewhere out there is probably an entire course involving many sciences attempting to dissect the magical chocolate experience. The mystique will be linked to words like ecstasy and euphoria and be almost,  but not quite explained in terms of biology, chemistry, etc. It will likely mention stuff like serotonin and endorphins, as well as go through the virtues of caffeine. There’s also a good chance that Harry Potter books will be referenced.

Just like the next person, I love me some chocolates. I may not be as addicted as some true-blue chocoholics are, but you’ll have to catch me ignoring a chocolate treat present in my home. As for my dream chocolate experience, it is sipping hot chocolate at the Café Schober (now Café Felix) in Zurich. It is a wonderful mug of piping hot Swiss chocolate and fresh local milk topped with a thick foam of cream. I’d probably sprinkle it with shavings of more Swiss chocolate, but that’s just because I obviously need a lesson in moderation.

However, there are chocolate lovers and there are true fanatics. I don’t think I’ll qualify to be numbered among the latter, but I’m curious to find out what it’s like to feel such passion for the world’s number 1 craving. If I were truly ardent, I’d constantly be in search of the ultimate chocolate experience. I’ve done some research and I’m pretty certain that any chocoholic worth his or her sugar will find the following appealing:

Chocalate Festivals. There are several in the world and each one is something for a chocolate lover to be excited about. If you want your senses assaulted by all things chocolate – exhibits, TASTINGS, and other chocolate-themed attractions – a chocolate festival is in order. Some of these famous festivals are Ghirardelli’s in San Francisco every September, Ganong’s in New Brunswick every August and the Choco-Laté one in Burges every April. The biggest one, the Festival Eurochocolate, is held every October in Perugia, Italy.

Chocolate Tours. You have factories, museums, entire towns… For instance, there’s Cadbury in Birmingham, England. The official tour takes about three hours and offers activities such as writing names in chocolate and making customized chocolate treats. A deluge of sample goodies also showers those partaking in the tour. Another popular chocolate tour is the one given by the city of Melbourne in Australia. It is actually a selection of walking tours that involve delightful tasting sessions of the city’s excellent chocolate offerings.

Chocolate Cruises. If you’re truly serious about chocolates and plan on turning the obsession into something potentially lucrative, Chocolatier Magazine hosts an annual cruise every October and you can learn the tricks of the trade in a gorgeous setting. There are, in fact, other chocolate-themed cruises. Windstar, Regent Seven Seas and  MSC are just some of the lines that offer chocolate cruises. It’s simply a matter of choosing which one caters to your tastes and needs the most.

Chocolate-Themed Parks. Many think that Hershey Park is one, but it’s more of a general amusement park than an actual theme park. Adjacent to it though is the actual chocolate-themed park, Hershey’s Chocolate World, which offers rides and other attractions inspired by Hershey’s products. It is one of the parks in a large entertainment complex holding other Hershey landmarks. For those in Asia, China has also recently opened to the public the World Chocolate Dream Park, which boasts of the chocolate versions of the Great Wall and the terra cotta soldiers among its attractions.

Chocolate Lodgings. Something that’s reminiscent of the palace Willy Wonka made for Prince Pondicherry was the Godiva Suite at the Bryant Park Hotel in Manhattan. It was a promotional Valentine’s Day gimmick back in 2008, but was revived the following year. There might be more encores so it wouldn’t hurt to be on the lookout for this every February. A completely chocolate-themed hotel, however, is found in Dorset, England. The Chocolate Boutique Hotel offers Chocolate Weekends that will have your mouth watering and your insulin level going berserk – chocolate fountains, chocolate portraits, chocolate cocktails…  truly a chocoholic’s idea of paradise.

Chocolate Spa. How about chocolate spa treatments? The Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey and Geneva’s After the Rain Spa are just a couple of places that feature services such as chocolate body wrap, chocolate bath, cocoa massage, etc. It certainly brings chocolate indulgence to whole new levels.

I hope reading this didn’t give you a toothache. On the other hand, if you’re serious about being a chocoholic, I guess it’s never too early to start making plans. There are so many ways to sate the chocolate obsession and businesses will continue to come up with novel ways to cater to the chocolate-loving public. Under the circumstances, chocoholism is guaranteed to flourish.

Written by wahmivy
freelance writer and translator

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