Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Local: Boston Chocolate Tours, part 1

Looking for a great way to get acquainted with a new place?  See if there is a local food tour!  

Aside from chowing some delicious foods, many times you get an impromptu history lesson about the dish being eaten and the city in which you are in.  Bonus - lots of these tours are done by foot, so you sneak some exercise in too.  ;)

Some of my favorite vacation memories have been about food and food tours have recently become a big part of that.  A pizza tour in New York, a tour of Chicago's Gold Coast, and now a chocolate tour in my own backyard of Boston!

Boston Chocolate Tours offers their tour in multiple Boston neighborhoods.  This first time, my boyfriend and I walked along Newbury Street and the surrounding area exploring Back Bay's chocolate delicacies.  

“Put ‘eat chocolate’ at the top of your list of things to do today...
that way, at least you’ll get one thing done.”

We met up with our group at Nespresso for a demo of their espresso machines and a sample of coffee.  Neither my boyfriend nor I like coffee but we gamely tried a sip.  Yeahhh...we still don't like it.  Holy bitter!  Thankfully, a chocolate sample saved our tastebuds.  ;)

From there, we ventured to Hotel Chocolat for a quick lesson on their cacao growing practices and, of course, to sample some treats.  We tried both their milk and dark chocolate in fun Christmas-y shapes as well as 2 kinds of truffles: gingerbread and cinnamon.  Mmmmm....

Their shop was filled to the rafters with chocolate everything...

...including some cocoa penne pasta.  I just had to buy some!  We haven't cooked any yet but will definitely report back once we do.  [Any saucing suggestions?]

After all the yummy samples, it was time to give our bellies a break and indulge our chocolate lust in a new way.  The tour headed into Lush, a handmade bath boutique.  My poor boyfriend was the only guy on the tour, so he was a bit less than thrilled to walk into the (heavily scented) store...but he was a good sport about it!  ;)  Here, we softened our hands up with a chocolate massage bar and scrubbed our lips smooth with cocoa exfoliator.  Their products sure do smell and feel amazing but darn are they expensive!

"If chocolate is the answer, the question is irrelevant."

A few steps down the street found us at a more boyfriend-friendly location: Ben & Jerry's!  While we listened to a bit about the company's origins, we spooned up a cup of Phish Food, one of their more famous ice cream flavors.   Who wouldn't love gooey marshmallow, caramel swirls, and fudge fish swimming throughout chocolate ice cream?  Nom.  

Our next stop was my favorite place on the whole tour.  The group descended upon Teuscher, a chocolatier from Switzerland.  They are best known for their champagne truffles, which were named one of Oprah's favorite foods in 2004.  

Encased in a milk (or dark) chocolate jacket, a dark chocolate ganache center is combined with a touch of Dom Penignon Champagne to create these truffles.  And, oh.  My.  God.  Were.  They.  Amazing!  It is no wonder that these are what prompted Teuscher's fame.  

I must have still been swooning over their heavenlyness (yep, it is now a word) because I started ordered truffles left and right to enjoy at home.  "Let me try the dark chocolate champagne truffle, the vodka one, a couple Grand Mariners, a Limoncello, jasmin please, and you might as well throw both an orange and white chocolate one in there, too."  Thirty-four bucks later, I walked out a Teuscher chocolate addict.  (No regrets!)

“Forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate.”

Our tour isn't over yet...stay tuned for Boston Chocolate Tour, part 2!  

Check out Boston Chocolate Tour, part 2 HERE!


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    For more information about bar chocolate products visit http://origencacao.com/

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