Bet you didn’t know that the scientific name for the cocoa tree is Theobroma cacao, which means “Food of the gods”. Don’t want to sound biased here, but that botanist knew what he was talking about.
I bet you also didn’t know that some lunatics pay up to $1,250 for a box of chocolates! I can’t even.
In honour of World Chocolate Day and everything that it means to me I thought I’d share a few chocolatey facts with you and give you some great tips on the best way to celebrate the day including bargains for chocolate tours and purchases from around Europe. (Seeing as Belgium is the ‘Chocolate Capital of the World'.)
1. Weekend Away
Europe is the heart of chocolatey amazing-ness, and if you’re a diehard fan why not splurge on a weekend away to some of the best countries for chocolate production! You can find loads of cool tours all over Switzerland, Belgium, France and Germany that take you through chocolate factories and the chocolate making process.
There’s the Lindt Chocolate Museum in Cologne, which I can tell you from experience is amazing. Or go to Brussels and take part in their famous Chocolate Walking tour.
Alternatively (and this is personal opinion here…), you should 100% go and check out Turin. It’s one of Italy’s best kept secrets and is the home of the famous Gianduiotto. It’s a chocolate like no other, and it’s not just me that says so, The New York Times agrees! What can I say, it’s the region that brought us Nutella; they're experts in my eyes.
2. Chocolate Spa treatment
If you’re not feeling a weekend away why not pamper yourself a bit (with the savings you’ve made through Oval!) and go and indulge in a chocolate spa treatment. The Good Spa Guide gives you a whole list of spas throughout London that offer everything from chocolate wraps to cocoa butter scrubs…. It all sounds rather delicious.
3. Chocolate Making workshops
If you’re all about the eating and less about the wrapping and scrubbing (and I’m totally with you on this), then definitely indulge yourself in a chocolate making workshop. Go on your own and make some likeminded friends, or take a group of mates with you. It’s cool, you learn something new, and most importantly – you get to eat the finished product!
4. Get your friends over for chocolate fondue night
My friend had this at her wedding and it was the most fun thing ever. Get some friends to bring round different things they want to coat in chocolate and have a taste of them all! Try bananas (classic), strawberries, almonds, ginger; they all taste great.
And, just to leave you with one more little chocolatey fact… the average Brit, Swiss or German eats 11kg of chocolate in a year… think I’ve just identified a new personal goal!