Last week I asked: What ‘sweet’ tour can you take in Boston? The Chocolate Tour of the Back Bay.
Whenever John and I visit a new area we check to see if they have free tours, Global Greeters, culinary experiences and/or chocolate tours.
While the culinary experience and chocolate tours are not free they add an interesting facet to our travels.
When we were in Boston we signed up for the Back Bay Chocolate tour offered by Boston Chocolate Tours, (www.bostonchocolatetours.com).
It is just one of their tours.
They also offer shopping that includes chocolate stops and cupcake tours.
It is all yummy.
The Back Bay area is a trendy area lined with unique shops, popular restaurants, and Victorian architecture.
It was once an area that had stagnant pools of tidal water and horse stables.
The bay was filled in and the surrounding area developed in the late 1800s.
It is now compared to 5th Avenue in New York City.
It is a great area for a walkabout even without the chocolate as the area is home to Copley Square, the Prudential Center and the Public Library.
On Saturday morning, the only day of the week the tour is offered, we met at Hotel Chocolat, a trendy European cocoa grower who manages the production of chocolate from bean to bar.
The tour group is limited to 16 but our group was smaller.
There was a group of young ladies who were just starting a long day of fun things to do with and for the soon-to-be bride.
There was also a married couple and the tour was a birthday gift for the wife – what a “sweet” idea.
The others were just chocolate lovers.
After we gathered in the private tasting area of Hotel Chocolat we learned about the production of chocolate from bean to the bar.
Inside the large cocoa pod are the chocolate beans surrounded by a white mucous substance.
Chocolate only grows in the tropics and the children in that area suck on the seeds calling them “poor-people M&Ms.”
Interestingly, the shells are now being marketed for making tea instead of throwing them away.
Hot water is poured over them creating a refreshing energy-boosting tea.
After the informative chat and a melt-in-your mouth dark chocolate truffle we headed out on the leisurely 2.5-hour, 1-mile walk, but first we stopped outside Hotel Chocolat for a cupcake – chocolate, of course.
A great way to promote their chocolate tour.
One of my favorite stops was at Teuscher Chocolatier where their signature chocolate delight is their Champagne Truffle that uses the finest chocolate ganache – of course – infused with Dom Perignon champagne.
Teuschers is a Swiss company that started in 1932 and has had a presence in the United States for more than 40 years.
We were told the Teucher Truffles should be kept at a low room temperature, about 68 degrees, and best if consumed within 10 days, which brought a chuckle from all of us because they would never last ten days!
We visited several chocolatiers and stopped at Ben & Jerry’s where we learned about Fair Trade which is an important element in Ben & Jerry’s and most chocolatiers.
Fair Trade is a social movement with the goal to pay a fair price to producers in developing countries to help them achieve better conditions and to promote sustainability.
Think about it.
Awesome, while we were eating chocolate and ice cream we were helping those in Third World countries.
Trivia Tease™: What is there to do on Seoul, Korea?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!