Easter Chocolates

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Today’s chocolate themed post was provided by guest author Craig, who shares some of his favourite destinations in the world to taste some of the good stuff. Enjoy!

Easter is a time of chocolate: chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and chocolate chickens, with the occasional daring foray into other shapes and sizes.

Many people are, unfortunately, more interested in the quantity of chocolate that they receive at Easter, rather than the quality, but this is a great pity, as chocolate making is an art form, and the best quality Easter treats can be simply exquisite.

Three cities in the world are particularly well-known for their fabulous chocolate, and for very good reason:

Paris

Paris was one of the very first cities in the world to open a chocolate shop, way back in the 1600s, shortly after the new product had made its way to Europe, landing in Italy in 1606. With over four hundred years to perfect the art of the chocolatier the French have got very good at it!

From a mere handful of top quality chocolatiers there are now several top quality chocolate masters, many based in and around the centre of Paris, and those currently in vogue often have a queue stretching out of the door and down the street, even on regular days.

Eiffel Tower at Sunset

At Easter time the chocolatiers really extend their skills, displaying artistry and creativity in their confections. The best bonbons have a thin crisp 'shell', known as a couverture and a rich, silky-textured filling which may or may not have additional flavourings.

For Easter treats the fillings are made ever more exciting with the addition of extra sweet treats, and the shells are made a little thicker and wrought into intricate designs: eggs with relief carvings of flowers and animals, delightful 'cartoon' chickens with yellow beaks and red crests, bunnies of all shapes and sizes and even gold-foil coated eggs designed and decorated in a nod to the beautiful works of Faberge.

Zurich

Swiss chocolate has been world famous for many years, and Zurich is the home of the best of Swiss chocolate! The Swiss are credited with inventing milk chocolate in 1875 and the nation as a whole consumed more than 94,000 tons of chocolate in 2011!

The Swiss are very daring with chocolate which has seen the creation of chocolate clothing, including a dress made from chocolate which featured an attached chocolate cage inside of which were several live doves!

Chocolate watches are very popular too, especially with tourists who get to take home a Swiss watch and Swiss chocolate all in one! There are 'sweet tours' available in Zurich during which a wide array of chocolate shops and cafes are visited.

At Easter many people decorate their gardens with colourful eggs, ribbons and flowers to create a lively display. Many chocolatiers, including the world famous Lindt, offer Chocolate Workshops, some for adults, others aimed at children aged from five years old and up, where guests can create and keep a basket full of Easter goodies!

Bruges

Set beside a canal, Bruges is famed for its fabulous chocolate. The city boasts over 50 chocolate shops clustered around the main square, heaven for chocophiles of all ages. The sight of so much chocolate laid out on tempting trays and in boxes can be almost overwhelming, especially as the fragrant scent of cocoa and chocolate wafts through the air!

So devoted is Bruges to chocolate that it even hosts a Chocolate Museum; where they aim to tell the story of chocolate, from humble beginnings in a South American jungle to the exquisite truffled treat that provides the perfect end to a wonderful meal!

Like Paris, Bruges cashes in on the Easter trade and the shops burst with fabulous colours and flavours as chocolates in all shapes and sizes are on display. Many of the chocolatiers in Bruges offer tourists and visitors the opportunity to take a chocolate making class, or to have personalised Easter treats made, bearing the name of the recipient.

There is more to chocolate than simply being a sneaky comfort food, and these three cities take pride in showing the world their very best chocolate-creating skills, especially at Easter time!

Sunset Paris




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