05.31 2008

With the onset of the summer months, more and more of us are going to be traipsing off to new locations in search of adventures. We thought this would be the perfect time to discuss some locations that have incredible chocolates and chocolate related activities or festivals.  Afterall, why not combine two great things?  A new adventure and the smooth, sweet taste of chocolate?

 

So here are a few of the ones that we have found - please, let us know of others that you know of or discover in the months ahead:

Choco-Story Museum - Bruges, Belgium

Bruge has dozens of incredible chocolate shops for you to take in. However, don’t forget to add a stop at this museum to learn more about the makings and history of Belgian chocolate.  They also have a number of activities to participate in during your visit.  In April they hold a festival which is alot of fun if you are there during that month.

Hersey’s Chocolate World - Hersey, PA

Located 15 minutes from Harrisburg, PA - Hersey’s Chocolate World and the town of Hersey has all kinds of fun and attractions for chocoholics as well as everyone else that you are travelling with!  From chocolate tastings to learning how chocolate is made.  This is a definite winner of a vist -

Ganong Chocolates and the Chocolate Festival - St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada

In August each year, this town comes to life as Canada’s Chocolate Town.  Ganong Chocolates has been making sweet confections since 1873 and displaying its products during the festivities.  It’s a fun and delicious adventure for all.

Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg. Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg has some additional fun for the family during your visit - once a month they show how chocolate was made during the early 18th century.  A great way to gain an understanding of chocolate and its history in the United States. 

Cadbury World - Birmingham, England

For all of those that love the taste of a delicious Cadbury bar when in the UK, a stop in Brimingham to take in the sites, sounds and especially the tastes of Cadbury World is a must.  This award winning,chocolate themed amsusement park is a great change of pace. 

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker -Berkeley, California

Scharffen Berger, now owned by Hersey’s, has factory tours that allow you to get inside and see the whole process of chocolate making from the beginning beans to the delicious end product. 

Eurochocolate - Perugia, Italy

The largest chocolate festival in the world takes place in Perugia, Italy in October of each year.  Just imagine, more than a whole week dedicated to the celebration and enjoyment of chocolate!  Hundreds of exhibitors show their wares to the over one million visitors that throng this town.

Whatever, your destination in the upcoming months - add a little chocolate to your day!

 

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05.27 2008

Sweet and Salty!Although the origins of the pretzel are quite lost to us, the earliest recording of them was in a monastery somewhere in the region of Southern France and Northern Italy in 610 AD! The pretzel was a strip of dough, given to children for memorizing parts of the Bible, and was aptly named pretiola, which is Latin for Reward! As the years went by, the pretiola gained popularity and started its journey from the wilds of France to the Southern reaches of Germany, where it took on the German name, bretzel. And somewhere along the way, the bretzel and the pretiola became the pretzel! 

 

While the exact history of the chocolate covered pretzel is another mystery, some historic sources imply that the chocolate covered pretzel was actually invented by Herr Franz Joseph Liebniz in 1544 in Hamburg. Herr Franz owned a pretzel bakery which was close to a chocolatier. While this fact hasn’t been verified - it makes for a good story. History buffs will continue to mull over this! But, in the end, for all the chocolate lovers, where the chocolate-covered pretzel was first created isn’t as important as the fact that it was created!

 

The chocolate covered pretzel gained prominence in the United States in the last two decades and has become one of the favorite chocolate candies ever made! The crunch of the pretzel along with the decadent richness of the chocolate covering has the makings of heaven on earth! While some prefer to bite down on the chocolate-covered pretzel to experience the crunchiness, others opt for popping it onto the tongue, and getting the mouthwatering taste of melting chocolate before devouring the pretzel itself!

 

Chocolate covered pretzels are made in various different types and shapes. Some chocolatiers prefer buying smooth, rounded pretzels which they then proceed to coat with different types of chocolate such as dark, white, semi-sweet or milk. Others prefer using pretzel sticks or bars, which can be either half-coated with chocolate or completely covered with it. The American favorite is the rounded version, coated with creamy milk chocolate!

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05.24 2008

Now here’s something that you don’t think of every day! Your chocolate bar as a crime solver - However, in Jonesboro, Arkansas a Snickers bar was a key piece of solving a robbery. In January, during a robbery of the Cato Animal Hospital, the robber left a half eaten candy bar on the counter. The police were able to obtain the robber’s DNA sample from the chocolate candy bar. The DNA matched that of the suspect. He is now in custody.

We take that to mean that we should always make sure to finish our chocolate before doing anything else!

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