Why Travel For Chocolate?

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Finding excellent chocolate in unexpected locations is a motivation to travel for some people (including yours truly), and this is one of those reasons.

However, flying to a faraway nation only to purchase a Cadbury creme egg is not the only way to satisfy your want for chocolate while you travel. In point of fact, contrary to what one would assume given the name, chocolate travel does not need include visiting a different nation at all. There are times when all that is required is to have a fresh encounter inside the domain of chocolate. Because it doesn’t matter where you go, you can always find locally made chocolates that will permanently alter the way you think about chocolate being the “food of the Gods.” The point of contemporary chocolate travel is to enhance your cocoa game, and that means from fields and chocolate factories all the way to my table and yours.

Japanese craft chocolate bars at a chocolate festival in Osaka, Japan.

Why Travel For Chocolate?

After devoting the last five years of my life to the study of chocolate, traveling, and tasting many varieties, I have come to the conclusion that chocolate is not about the sugar.

When I was a youngster, I was taught that chocolate is an unhealthy dessert meal, something that should be indulged in, and then regretted as soon as possible after. However, I have discovered that the finest chocolates are not at all about satisfying a need for sweets; rather, they are about the cacao and the unique tales that lie behind its origin. The consumption of sweets is not the primary motivation for going on a chocolate-related excursion, despite the fact that you could become rather full doing so.

Here are four reasons why you should consider treating yourself to some chocolate when traveling on your next vacation.

But keep in mind that the bonbons that taste the greatest have a relatively limited shelf life. Let’s take a look at all of these wonderful justifications one by one, shall we?

Artisanal chocolates made in Gimhae, South Korea.

Explore a New Area

There are times when exploration requires something as apparently harmless as going to a different neighborhood inside your current location. However, for some people, the desire to go to a new nation is just irresistible. I urge each and every one of you to indulge your passion for food and chocolate by traveling, if at all feasible. However, if at this time it is not a possibility for you, your best bet is to remain in the same location but to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new by reading or listening to tales about locations you’ve never been. Your first excursion into chocolate tourism might consist of nothing more than a simple weekend road trip in your area. No matter how familiar the location may appear, altering the purpose of your trip might cause a difference in your view of the destination.

There is a good chance that the capital or the largest city in the majority of the destinations you visit will have a local chocolatier. Even Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand have their own chocolate producers. Because there is a vibrant chocolate subculture and some people may even have numerous chocolate shops, you should make it a point to stop in at one of them and make a purchase, have a chat, or learn something new. Inquire with locals about other places of interest in the city. People who live in the area are enthusiastic not just about the outstanding chocolate they produce but also about the features of their particular region that set it apart from others.

A bar of 100% Thai chocolate gifted to me by the couple behind Kad Kokoa, in Bangkok. They own their own farm in Chumphon, Thailand.

New Chocolate Experiences

Small-batch chocolate producers begin with the plain cocoa bean to construct distinct interpretations of cacao’s terroir, which is a French phrase that may be loosely translated as “the taste of a region.” A taste that has been carefully crafted of these items is a delectable way to become acquainted with the terrain of your trip. It would not be difficult to include it either before or after a visit to a chocolate spa, a hike through a cocoa farm, or a lesson on how to make chocolate.

Travel with a chocolate theme may be either hedonistic or informative; nevertheless, the primary purpose of your vacation does not have to be the consumption of chocolate in order for it to be considered mouthwatering.

The journey to the location where your food was grown and prepared delivers its own unique sensations. In especially regarding chocolate, the small firms that you will come across take a holistic approach to the manufacture of the product. They concentrate on enlightening customers about the origin of ingredients and ethical sourcing by using a global viewpoint, and they include a fair dose of delicious examples in their presentations.

Vietnamese Cacao, later roasted and ground into chocolate.

Support a Positive Impact

Chocolate is a particularly transparent medium for linking us to the people and places that raise our food since it has just a single primary component that can be tracked. Not only does the cultivation of cacao encourage environmentally clean and transparent agriculture, but many farmers are increasingly taking the initiative to become business owners, combining farming, the production of chocolate, and volunteer work into a single sustainable enterprise. Still others are starting cocoa cooperatives from scratch or joining existing ones because they are motivated to produce goods other than chocolate, such as alcohol that is favorable to the environment, soaps, lotions, drink mixes, cosmetics, and food flavorings.

Chocolate is being used as a means of providing positive reinforcement for the expansion of ecotourism and culinary tourism around the globe via the mindful consumption of chocolate.

When you pay a visit to a location that is known for its chocolate, you are not only helping to ensure the continued financial stability of chocolate manufacturers, but also of cacao growers, hotel workers, flight attendants, transportation businesses, and tour guides. When done right, eating chocolate may be an environmentally responsible activity. A relationship that was formerly impossible to forge is now easy to forge via the consumption of chocolate since millions of people are born into farms, live on farms, and die on farms all over the globe.

Mindo Chocolates 67% dark bar, grown, crafted & sold in Ecuador (made by an all-Ecuadorian team).

Savor New Cultures

Even if “chocolate” is adored all over the globe, just as some individuals choose to give a hug rather than a handshake, this adoration is communicated in a manner that is unique to each region. Everywhere you travel, the chocolates are delectable representations of the geographical and cultural aspects of the country you are visiting. If you will, the physio-cultural terroir of the area. Fresh chocolate creations have a very limited enjoying period—just two to seven days—and thus are at their absolute best when enjoyed at the point of production.

Bars of chocolate, on the other hand, are often aged, but they will melt on the way back to the store from the store.

And with chocolate locations ranging from the United States and Europe to Asia and Africa, the globe is developing its own unique array of candies and other sweets that are easily available. Your only task is to decide whatever flavor you want.

Therefore, it is important to develop an appreciation for new and unique cultures through experiencing the terroir of the area that was responsible for the cultivation of both the products and the people who produced them. Imagine a fresh chocolate cake made with dulce de leche served in an Argentinian cafe or Kampot pepper truffles that melt in your mouth after a long day of seeing Angkor Wat. When seen in the light of their own historical and social circumstances, the familiar tastes of someone else’s home will have the greatest impact. These tastes are a reflection of the foodstuffs that have historically been prized by humans. The Americas are where chocolate was first developed, but now every culture has their own unique take on the sweet treat, and it’s just waiting for you to try it out so you may appreciate the experience.

The government chocolate factory in Baracoa, Cuba (named after Che Guevara).

How to Add Chocolate to Travel

You may pursue these just and delectable goals of chocolate tourism in pretty much any part of the world. If you are one of the fortunate few who can travel, even to another city, then you belong to a privileged few, and I strongly recommend that you make the most of this opportunity. Take, for instance, the scenario in which you want to celebrate your birthday by going on a trip with the theme of chocolate but you don’t know where to go. It’s possible that some of your other hobbies include things like wine, the great outdoors, and seeing cultures extremely different from your own.

I believe that Cape Town, in South Africa, would be an excellent choice for you. There are a few chocolate manufacturers, a few bonbon stores, and plenty of lovely landscapes and safari choices outside of the city. The city also boasts a few chocolate producers. This place is a dream come true for anyone who are passionate about food and wine, since it has eleven official languages and breathtaking coastline drives through wine country. Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is yet another alternative to consider. You could go chocolate–hopping and wine–sploring in the evening, and then if you woke up early enough the following morning, you could visit a cocoa farm. This is because the city has a lot of French influence, and the landscape that surrounds it is mostly intact.

Other regions rich in cacao production and culture may be found all over the world, including Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. Basically every place where a large number of people have congregated, at least one of them has developed an unhealthy obsession with chocolate and founded a store selling it. When you are in England, you should start your sightseeing in London and then go on to the country’s smaller cities and towns. The equivalents for Paris and Barcelona are the same. You’ll want a piece of the chocolate subculture whether chocolate is what initially drew you there or you saw it as a fascinating and tasty addition to the primary vacation you were doing.

Therefore, you may browse the internet, take a flight, or even stroll down the street. Experience new tastes and see new places through the eyes of people who create chocolate, people who grow cacao, and people like myself who have made it our duty to spread the message of the cacao gospel as far as it can reach. Including chocolate in the equation will make the journey taste even better, regardless of the mode of transportation or the location.

A tray of cacao drying on the roadside on Bohol Island, in the Philippines.

My parents have always been supportive of my passion with chocolate, even when they witnessed the mounting credit card bills I racked up throughout my teenage years. When you go on vacation, what do you prioritize the most?

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Which chocolate is best for travel?

Many people believe that Swiss chocolate, in addition to Belgian chocolate, is among the greatest in the world. Milk chocolate is one of Switzerland’s most renowned products, and it is appreciated all over the world. Switzerland sells milk chocolate to a number of nations. Milk chocolate from Switzerland is known for being silky, sugary, and creamy, and it melts on the tongue like butter.

What country is famous for introducing chocolate to the world?

Ancient Mesoamerica, which is now known as Mexico, is credited as being the birthplace of chocolate. It was in this area that people discovered the first cocoa plants. One of the first civilizations in Latin America was the Olmec, and they were the ones who discovered how to make chocolate from the cacao plant. During ceremonies, they would drink their chocolate, and they also utilized it as medicinal.

Do chocolates travel well?

Because chocolate has a low melting point, getting it to customers should not take too long. Many delivery services recommend waiting until the following day or overnight to send chocolates because of their delicate nature. Choose the same-day delivery option whenever feasible; this will reduce the likelihood that the candies may melt while they are in transit.

How do you travel with chocolates?

You are permitted to travel solid food items in either your carry-on or checked luggage; however, liquids and gels are not permitted. Items in your carry-on luggage that are liquid or gel food that are more than 3.4 ounces are not permitted and should be put in your checked baggage if at all feasible.

Which country loves chocolate most?

Switzerland is the nation that is responsible for the most chocolate being eaten on a per capita basis. Switzerland has the highest per capita consumption of chocolate in the world, despite the fact that there are undoubtedly nations across the world that eat more chocolate overall than Switzerland does.