Travelling the world is a dream of mine and chocolate is one of my favourite treats, so why wouldn’t I want to mix the two? This magical idea come to mind during Easter when I was tucking into my regular chocolate eggs and wondered what other types of chocolate were out there and where could I get my hands on them.
Recently I discovered craft chocolate bars, which are on the rise in the UK you will be pleased to know. This luxury chocolate is a completely new experience that differs from the chocolate you may find in the local shop. The product is created from only the finest ingredients and is more of an art form than a mass-produced product. So, where in the world can you find some of the best craft chocolate?
Craft Chocolate in Switzerland
Okay, this may be the most obvious place to start but for good reason, this really is some of the most delicious. From Geneva to Zurich you could easily do a tour of chocolatiers here, discovering the history of the process.
What is nice about Switzerland is that there is a long history of crafting chocolate and many families still own their original businesses today. The earliest story I have heard of is of the Favarger family who began making chocolate in 1826, now they present the process from their location on Quai des Bergues in Geneva.
If you are not in Geneva then perhaps Zurich is a simpler stop for you with 170 years of chocolate making history, there’s a lot of chocolate to be enjoyed. Here you can taste this delicate chocolate in luxury surrounded by chandeliers and tapestries at Peclard.
Switzerland isn’t the only place with a history all chocolate lovers will enjoy, heading to Belgium there’s much more to be discovered.
Craft Chocolate in Belgium
More specifically, we are focusing on Brussels and the old part of the city, The Sablon neighbourhood. This area is a haven for art, chocolate, and antiques, many of the most famous chocolatiers have visited to taste the most popular brands: Godiva, Wittamer, and Marcolini to name a few.
But Europe isn’t the only place that craft chocolate can be indulged, let’s head somewhere that offers a slightly different chocolate experience.
Craft Chocolate in Vietnam
The UK isn’t the only place seeing a rise in craft chocolate, Vietnam has also seen an increase in demand. In 2011 two men from France created the brand Marou, these chocolate bars mix fruit, tobacco, spices and many more flavours to create the unusual tasting chocolate bars. Although this brand can be purchased internationally there’s nothing like a stop onsite at café Maison Marou.
Craft Chocolate in the USA
Over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in small chocolatiers have begun redefining the chocolate industry in America, with small businesses revisiting their roots and turning to craft chocolate across America.
The most intriguing craft chocolate bars I have heard of from the USA is about Patric, based in Utah. The story here is an interesting read and the chocolate is made from scratch and is available in a variety of flavours. This is a good choice for lovers of organic food and those who shop Fair Trade.
This is only one example of the many, many chocolatiers that can be found in America, so travelling here and spending months touring the chocolate seen would be my dream.
Craft Chocolate in the UK
Finally, we mentioned earlier that there is an uplift in craft chocolate in the UK, but where exactly can we find it?
Known as bean-to-bar chocolate makers these artists bring the best cacao to the UK to produce the finest chocolate bars, and here is where you can taste this meticulously made chocolate:
Willie’s Cacao – a well-known craft chocolate producer, sourcing their beans from Africa, Asia, and America he has a lot to offer.
Duffy’s – since 2008 this brand has been producing small batches of bars, sourcing their beans across the globe and supporting the makers and growers of the cacao.
Chocolate Tree – with two locations in the UK, one being a chocolate factory this company offers the chance to taste the chocolate onsite and experience the flavours.
This is a definite future holiday for me. Well, 4 holidays, and some domestic travel. I have only had the chance to taste craft chocolate in France in the lovely Cap d’Antibes and think it is worth a taste.