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Foodie Adventures: How the World Eats Chocolate
Candy bars may hit the sweet spot, but they’re not the only way to get your chocolate fix—especially if you’re traveling internationally. Try these five crave-worthy ways to get go “cocoa loco” around the globe!
We here in the States sure do love our Hershey’s kisses and our hot chocolate, but most of our commercial chocolate products contain very little cocoa (the heart and soul of good chocolate) and are considered “second-tier.” There is a growing exotic chocolate trend in the US, but it still does not compare to the dark, rich, silky smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture and taste of chocolates from around the globe.
For a more decadent chocolate experience, you’ may want to look farther afield than your local grocery or specialty food store. And by that, we mean you may actually need to dig our your passport and hop on a flight to pursue some of the richest, tastiest and life-changing chocolate dishes that the world has to offer. We’ve spotlighted five favorites in countries renowned for doing incredible things to a simple cocoa bean.
Dark Chocolate Pavé glace - Switzerland
It’s hard to talk about chocolate without mentioning Switzerland, since people in that country consume more chocolate than any other in the world. In fact, an average Swiss citizen eats 24 pounds of chocolate per year! The country is known for making the delicious dark chocolate pavé glacé, which is a truffle that’s square in shape and named after the type of cobblestone you’d find in the Swiss towns where it was first made. Dark chocolate is mixed with cocoa butter, butter, liquor (and sometimes ground hazelnuts and saffron), poured into a mold, and then once it has cooled a little, it’s cut into bite-sized squares and chilled. Finally, the squares are tossed in cocoa powder. Mmm…
Chicken with Negro Mole Sauce - Mexico
You don’t have to wait until dessert to indulge in chocolate—have some for dinner! The super dark brown sauce that’s usually poured over braised chicken in Oaxaca, Mexico has a secret ingredient: unsweetened chocolate. If you plan to cook it up yourself, just be prepared, because there are lots of ingredients (most recipes call for 24!). Many of those ingredients are chiles, so if you like your food to have a spicy yet savory taste, this chocolaty meal is for you.
Chocolate Profiteroles - France
The French prefer their chocolate sauce drizzled all over to-die-for cream puff pastries called profiteroles. These light and crispy treats are made with sugar, butter, water, flour, salt, and eggs, and the chocolate topping adds a luscious, liquid touch. Depending on how much of a chocoholic you are, you can drip only a few drops of chocolate on the profiteroles or you can completely dunk them in chocolate, fondue-style.
Brazilian Brownies (Pedacinhos de Chocolate) - Brazil
Move over, Betty Crocker. These South American treats are similar to American brownies, except they have more of a kick. How come? They contain a little bit of white wine. Cheers! If you like your brownies to have some crunch, they can also be made with toasted, chopped Brazil nuts.
Walnut Sacher Torte - Germany, Austria, and Hungary
Now here’s a cake that’s perfect for devil’s food lovers. This fudgy delight, which has a moist inside and a shiny, glazed outside, contains chopped bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, along with butter, granulated sugar, water, eggs, walnuts, and salt. Sometimes there’s even a layer of apricot jam either underneath the icing or in the middle of the torte for an extra blast of sweetness. Eat the cake with whipped cream or vanilla icing to make your taste buds go wild.
What's your favorite chocolate treat?
Jane Bianchi is a freelance writer who has worked for a variety of national magazines, including Seventeen, Family Circle, and Good Housekeeping. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.