My farthest memory as a child takes me back to when I was still about five, and my dad would bring home some chocolates. Once, I forgot to bring the chocolates he gave me to school, and while at school, it made me so anxious to have a bite especially gazing upon a classmate opening her Toblerone bar. Getting a glimpse of her enjoying her chocolate, I started to drool inside my mouth, like a bone-deprived puppy! And there was this other classmate who turned out to also be one big chocolate lover like me. He tried asking her to give him a piece, but my classmate refused! When she turned around for a while, he went to her seat, discreetly opened her lunch box, and took some. That day, I knew what surprising effects chocolate can have on anyone.
It is so unimaginable that one can become a thieving criminal for the love and passion for chocolates. Though I understand how a chocolate lover feels towards these sweet and delightful delicacies of goodness, I cannot bear to imagine that it can go as far as stealing. Or maybe it was just part of being a child. One thing though that became crystal clear to me now is, never deprive someone of what they so love. And never to keep chocolate lovers from away from them!
As a chocolate lover when I was a child, I grew up into an adult still enjoying that passion for chocolates. When I buy them, it is as if there will be no next time. Today, I keep stocks of chocolates in my fridge and even have chocolate luncheons with my friends once a month. When one of my friends arrived from Europe a few months ago, he gave me boxes of chocolates from Italy, France, and Belgium. Too bad, his trip didn’t include Switzerland, because if there is one brand of chocolates I truly love, it’s Lindtt from Switzerland.
I carefully unwrapped one chocolate at a time, with each chocolate wrapped in intricately designed chocolate box. My eyes feasted on the beautiful bite-size pieces! It was almost painful to take a bite because they were so beautiful. I guess the chocolate lover in me has quite turned me into the chocolate monster that I am now.
Now, my interests in chocolates have drifted to liking gourmet chocolates. I am particularly interested in how they are made, the best variations they offer, and of course, the best makers there are. Here is a list of the famous gourmet chocolate shops all over the world. There, you’ll meet the best chocolate makers and get to mingle with fellow chocoholics as well.
La Maison du Chocolat – Paris, France
Robert Linxe opened La Maison du Chocolat in 1977. Now, it has several shops in Paris. He was often called “ganache-magician” because he uses bitter-sweet chocolate and specializes in mendiants, ganaches, fruity bars, and truffles.
Arn Chocolaterie – Geneva, Switzerland
Forget the Alps! If you eat anything from Arn Chocolaterie, it would be like you are floating way above the snowy mountains of Switzerland. Experience being served an array of coffee and tea with their specialty of champagne truffles.
Escriba – Barcelona, Spain
One of the best hot chocolates is found in Barcelona. It is the first country that ever developed chocolates. Barcelona is lucky to have Escriba, a humble chocolate shop that was founded by a coal worker in the 1900’s. People who have experienced the luscious goodness of hot chocolate in Escriba can only sip in awe because it is unlike any other. Apart from their mouth-watering hot choco, they also have a wide selection of desserts.
Neuhaus – Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Neuhaus has been around for 150 years, and its popularity has never waned. They now have an online store which will delightfully deliver their best Belgian chocolates right in front of your doorstep. But why do that when you can visit Vlezenbeek and enjoy the magical sceneries while indulging in chewy chocolate delights?
Melt – London, England
Try checking out Melt, a store in Nothing Hill that’s famous for their hotly served great chocolates at very affordable prices. Like the name of the store, their chocolates promise to melt in your mouth with the finest tang you will ever experience!