Sampling food from around the world is a great reason to travel, and for some it's even the sole purpose! Chocolate is a special treat for most of us and holds a special place in the hearts of many. From its smell to the endless varieties, chocolate is both exciting and delicious, and these 10 countries are where you can find the best chocolate in the world!
It may come as no surprise that Switzerland finds itself at the top of the list. This country is home to some of chocolate's most well-known brands from Lindt to Toblerone. You can find one of the world's best chocolate tours at the Maison Cailler which is a chocolate factory and museum straight out of a picture book. The museum uses interactive media to teach visitors about the history of Swiss chocolate with a production line demonstrating how chocolate is produced. But the best part of the tour is when you get to sample the factory's wares to your heart's content.
Belgium has been producing chocolate since the 19th century, meaning that the delightful treats found here are the best of the best. In every Belgian town or city, you can find artisan chocolatiers on every street corner. Some of the best Belgian chocolate can be found in the chocolate shops of Antwerp and Bruges. The Chocolate Line is the best of these shops, offering chocolate with a twist including Tabasco, cola and passion fruit flavoured confections. Not only is the chocolate selection impressive but its Antwerp location is notable too, as it can be found on the ground floor of the Paleis Op de Meir, an 18th century palace that was owned by Napoleon and King Leopold II. But one treat sure to please everyone is the infamous Belgian waffle topped with luscious, velvety chocolate.
Italy may not be as famous as Belgium and Switzerland when it comes to chocolate, but it has a long history of chocolate-making that can't be ignored. Here there are a handful of towns that are well known for their chocolate. Turin plays host to Cioccolatò, an outstanding chocolate festival that takes place every year. Here you can find shows, chocolate tastings, workshops and competitions. Modica in Sicily is another Italian town seemingly designed for chocolate enthusiasts. Modica's chocolate is produced according to a special recipe that dates back to the 1500s. Not only is it special in this regard, but it is one of the world's most natural chocolates made solely with hand-ground cacao and sugar.
For a more offbeat expedition, Ecuador is a top producer of some of the world's best chocolate given that its main export is cocoa beans. Numerous cacao tours show visitors around the cocoa plantations and explore the process of making high quality chocolate. When wandering around the lush cacao plantations, you'll learn about the growing process, fermentation and drying that goes into producing one of the world's favourite sweets whilst getting to try your hand at making some homemade artisanal chocolate for yourself.
When most people think of Japanese cuisine their minds automatically go to sushi not chocolate. However the great variety of chocolate flavours found in this island nation might come as a surprise! It's possible to find some western chocolate here, but Japanese chocolate-making kits and varieties with creative, offbeat flavours are sure to delight. For example, matcha green tea chocolate is the perfect blend of sweet and slightly savoury. Some fun chocolate treats to pick up include the Mushroom Mountain DIY Kit and chocolate pencils. For an extra special treat, Meiji Milk chocolate cubes have a smooth, glassy texture on the outside, but melt perfectly in the mouth.