Sweet, delicate, heart-warming. Some vulnerable individuals get addicted and simply can’t leave without it, but they’re usually enjoying this addiction. To have it means joy. It brings happiness, makes people smile and feel good. No, we’re not talking about love or romance. The greatest sweetness, the biggest delight: chocolate. If you’re a chocolate lover and a traveler at the same time, you should know what the best destinations for you are. That’s why here’s a list of countries producing the best in the world. Before you start reading, we must warn you: this list is going to make you crave for chocolate even more than usual. If you’ve got a bar or a piece of cake near you, that’s the right moment to get it.
Belgium isn’t such a big country, but it has over 2000 chocolate shops – this fact itself explains a lot. Belgian love for chocolate is so strong it keeps growing, and no obstacle can stop it. Because of the climate, it’s impossible to grow cocoa there, but this means nothing for the passionate Belgian chocolate makers. They import necessary ingredients and produce about 172,000 tons of chocolate per year. The Belgian is unique and excellent, without exceptions. Because of the legal regulations, they have to contain at least 35% pure cocoa so that you won’t find such a thing as a low-quality Belgian chocolate. Many companies still make the sweets by hand, follow traditional recipes and keep their secret formulas to themselves. Many varieties are available, but the most popular kind is praline. First introduced in 1912, they became the symbol of Belgium. Shapes vary, but usually, praline is a formed into a lovely shell with soft filling.
Known for excellent quality and even greater taste, the Swiss is world-famous. Many known brands come from the country. You might not have been to Switzerland, but you’ve most likely tried Swiss chocolate at some point. Lindt is the most popular brand, widely sold all across the world. Unlike many popular brands, Lindt always keeps a very high quality of its products. Before the Second World War Switzerland exported a lot of chocolate, but today much of it is consumed by Swiss themselves. Out of all the countries in the world, Switzerland has the highest consumption per capita. An average Swiss person eats over 10 kilos of sweetness per year.
The United States
America is the world’s biggest producer of chocolate. There are lots of excellent chocolate shops all across the United States, especially in New York City. One of the extraordinary things about American chocolate is many peanuts and almonds it contains. About 40% of America’s almonds are used as a chocolate’s ingredient. The largest manufacturer is Hershey’s. According to the regulations, Hershey’s products aren’t real, since they contain too much of vegetable fat, but they’re yummy nevertheless, and Americans love them. The company’s most popular product is a bar. Chocolate bars are doing great in America, and it’s not only about Hershey’s, but also such brands like Milky Way, Twix or Snickers.
Have you read Joanne Harris’ bestseller Chocolat? Or watched the movie based on it? If you did, you know what kind of French magic spreads. If you haven’t, you definitely should, but remember to have a box of pralines next to you while you watch or read. France is especially good at producing dark chocolates and those filled with liquor. There are lots of delicious truffles and pralines too. Besides, French people are masters of using it in desserts. Even a simple croissant from a local bakery is like a miracle.
Italy’s one of the largest manufacturers in the world. It’s fantastic both about quantity and quality. The most popular producer is Amadei, a company established in 1990. Their products are delicious. They buy cocoa directly from growers, without any help from brokers, so they know exactly who and how the beans grew – that’s one of the reasons Amadei’s chocolates are so good. Other well-known brands include Perugina Sutti, Venchi, and Ferrero. Moreover, Italians, just like the French people, make excellent pastries.
What about Europe plus the U.S. chocolate tour? You can easily move between those countries with a variety of cheap airlines. Pack your bag; get a flight and go to discover the world’s sweetest destinations!