"" Writer's Wanderings: In A Word- Chocolate!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In A Word- Chocolate!

Several years ago on our river cruise through France, we stopped at Tain L'Hermitage. It is noted for its wine but perhaps even more so for the famous Valrhana chocolate produced there. We were amazed at the free samples given out in the gift shop and I have never tasted such pure hot chocolate. All you needed was a very, very small cup. It was rich and dark. I was surprised it was not mentioned in the Independent Traveler article I read about twelve chocolate spots to visit. We didn't have time for a tour of the place but tours are available.

Hershey, Pennsylvania, was mentioned but more so for its spa. I can't imagine being covered with chocolate for a massage or facial. That seems like a waste and if I had to smell the chocolate, I would just want to eat it.

There were two places mentioned near some of the areas we will be traveling to this year. Umbria, Italy, has a chocolate factory owned by Nestle called Perugina. They make Baci which is foiled wrapped nuggets with a hazelnut cream center and other confections. You can tour the factory and get a bird's eye view of the production from walkways above.

The other place that might be worth looking into is in Barcelona, Spain, where our fall cruise will stop. Cacao Sampaka is the name of the shop which replaced a famous restaurant called El Bulli. It sounds very boutiquish with bars that have ham or anchovies or hazelnut or Modena vinegar in them. What really caught my eye though was the offering of churros and hot chocolate. In a chocolate shop? It's got to be heavenly. Hope I get the chance to try it. If I do, you can be sure I'll share--the story. It's kind of hard to share the chocolate over the internet.

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