Archive for the 'Chocolate' Category

US: St Augustine, FL- Delicious History of Chocolate with a Walking Tour of St. Augustine

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Explore the decadent delights of the nation’s oldest city on this indulgent tour of St. Augustine’s finest chocolate creations. The VIP ‘ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE’ Tasting Tour is an especially delectable way to learn more about St. Augustine’s historic district, where you will get to experience the most unique chocolate selections that St Augustine has to offer.St Augustine Choc Tour-Choc Image

Guests will explore culinary venues, local fixtures, and off-the-beaten-path foodie hot spots to sample heavenly chocolate in all of its glorious adaptations. Samples will include wine, sauces, toppings, dips, desserts, and more.

Aside from the sheer decadence, you’ll discover how chocolate played a pivotal role in influencing the history and culture of the New World, while seeing unique points of interest along the way. Imagine taking in the delicious antiquity of the old city while indulging in one of man-kinds most beloved ancient tasting treasures along the way.St Augustine Chocolate Tour -Peppers 1

This 2+ hour tour departs from Tour St. Augustine Inc., located downtown at 4 Granada Street, on select weekend dates. Tour departs at 1 pm (check in 15 mins prior) and advance reservations are required. Visit here to book a tour.St Augustine Chocolate Tour - Desserts2

Location: The tour departs from Tour St. Augustine, 4 Granada Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Date and Time: The first Saturday of the month in 2017 at 1:00 pm (Aug 5, Sept 2, Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec2)
Tel: 904-825-0087
staugcitywalks.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

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US: Skippers, VA – Good Earth Peanuts are Virginia Peanuts at their Best

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Virginia grows the largest variety of peanuts in the world. The Good Earth Peanut Company ships Virginia peanuts fresh in a variety of forms: raw and cooked, in and out of the shell. Sitting right on a 1650’s Tuscarora Indian trail which is now a railroad junction, in an old time (circa 1854) general store, this family business roasts and sells peanuts.IMG_3539

Lindsey and Scott Vincent go beyond the ordinary nut to sell cashew brittle, wasabi flavored peas, nut berry thrill, diet trail mix, cracked pepper and sea salt peanuts, chocolate covered peanut brittle (Sandra’s favorite) and maple covered nuts, as well as pecans like key lime ones (we’re addicted to the butter toasted pecans in our salads).

There are FREE tastes of the 36 or so salty and sweet treats. We’ll take the dark chocolate
covered cherries. Some groceries still line the walls, like McCutcheon’s preserves and Virginia hams.IMG_3538

You’ve gotta stop here, you won’t be disappointed, the quality and the assortment are amazing. You can even order them on-line and have them shipped to you. They will  include information about the history of peanuts, also known as goobers and groundnuts, and how peanuts are grown.  WARNING: These products are addictive!

Location: The Good Earth Peanut Company,  5334 Skippers Road, Skippers, Va 23879
Hours: Mon – Fri 8-6pm, Sat 9-4pm
Tel: 1-800-643-1695
goodearthpeanuts.com

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US: Annapolis, MD – Binge on Chocoholic Sushi with Chocolate Martinis at Annapolis Festival

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Under the warm glow of lights you’ll be served a FREE toasty cup of hot chocolate while you enjoy listening to music. Indulge in some family-fun, there is something for everyone including shopping, art, drinks, food,  prizes, and fun for kids of all ages and did I mention chocolate.

Take a chocolate tour along West Street with a dozens of vendors selling various chocolate specialties , including chocolate caramels, bars, truffles, fudge, cookies, rice crispies, fondue, chocolate fountain, candy apples, chocolate sushi, and even chocolate martinis. Chocoholics, get ready to binge!

Entertainment includes: Moon Bounce,  Balloon Sculptures, Face Painting, Meet Santa, McGruff the crime fighting dog, and Sparky the fire department dog, Music performances,  Comedy,  Ugly Sweater Contest, holiday shopping, the lighting of the West Street Light Canopy. You can roast marshmallows and make s’mores at the fire pit in the middle of West Street sponsored by the Annapolis Fire Department.

Chocolate, holiday vendors, music, family friendly entertainment and holiday light canopy. All this makes for a great street party in Annapolis. Support the local arts and and We Care and Friends . Suggested $5 donation to the Annapolis Arts District-Kids are free with a paid parent donation.

Location: West St and Calvert St (Intersection) ,Annapolis, MD 21401
Date: Sun, Dec 4th, 2016
Time: noon-5pm
Tel: 410-858-5884
annapolischocolatefestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

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Canada: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Messy Chocolate Truffles s

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

I just made these chocolate truffles, almost from scratch, at the Fortress of Louisbourg. Messy, but I got to lick my spoon and my fingers.

Fortress Chocolate Truffles

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Canada: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Chocolate for the Wealthy

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Chocolate was hugely expensive in the 18th century and a pound would cost the same as a pair of shoes. You had to be wealthy to be able to serve cocoa to guests. the cocoa was served hot with spices and sugar and was used medicinally and for warmth and strength. Both women and men drank it. Ladies thought it was energizing. More than two centuries later, I think we still agree about that.

Fortress Chocolate

 

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Sandra and Stan on Radio

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

On Saturday Sept 10th, My husband and I will be on Radio Centre-Ville’s Centre-Ville Consumer show with Beta Wayne.

Tune to 102.3  between 12:30 p.m.  and 1 p.m. and you’ll hear about our experiences in Holland and Flanders, Belgium in May. It will be the full half hour of conversation between us.

www.radiocentreville.com

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Ghent Birthplace of Some Belgian Chocolates

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

There must have been great chocolate DNA in their blood because famous Belgian chocolates brands Daskalides and Leonidas were created by family members from Ghent, Belgium.

Leonidas Daskalidès or Leonidas Kestekides (1876 – 1954) was born in Turkey and he was the founder of Leonidas chocolates in Belgium making pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings) famous.

In 1910, he was a member of the Greek delegation from the US competing at the 1910 World Fair in Brussels. He won a bronze medal for his chocolate confection, and a gold medal for his patisserie. On a return visit in 1913 ( World Fair in Ghent), he met a young woman from Brussels and settled permanently in Belgium. He opened tea-rooms in Brussels, Ghent and Blankenberge, and the business expanded from there.

In 1935, Basile Kestekides, the founder’s nephew succeeded the founder and created a whole range of new chocolates, including the well-known ‘Manon’ of Leonidas. Still to this day the most popular chocolates are the manon, manon café, gianduja, dressé noisette, manon blanc and manon blanc café.

There are 350 Leonidas shops in Belgium and and almost 1500 throughout the world in over 50 countries. Leonidas  is still privately owned by family

In 1931, a Greek couple Daskalidès-Kestikidès opened a confectionary in the centre of Ghent. Home made pralines by Daskalidès become famous and their tearooms and chocolate shops grew.

During the sixties his son Jean advised him to devote himself to the production of luxury pralines for connoisseurs which led them to conquer markets abroad. In 1987, Daskalidès was  awarded in France the prestigious Laurier d’Or de la Qualité from France thanks to the exceptional quality of chocolate, the beautiful shape and the delicious taste

Dr. Jean Daskalides became famous for his chocolates under the names Daskalidès and Leonidas. He was also a gynecologist, film director, jazz musician, hospital director and lecturer at the University of Ghent.

You can buy Daskalides and Leonidas chocolate in Ghent or anywhere in Belgium or nowadays, all over the world.

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Bitter Chocolates?

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Laurent Gerbaud, Belgian chocolatier, was so good that he was sent to Shanghai for the World Expo to show off the sweet talents of his country. However, when he got there he soured on chocolates. Gerbaud discovered that the Chinese were not  used to so much sugar so making use of his creative skills he revised his recipes and started to work on tart and bitter tastes.

He searches purveyors for ingredients such as South African Barrrydale apricots, Persian cranberries, Turkish figs, pepper, spicy ginger  and orange peel, and mixes them with his dark dark 70 % chocolate recipe using  chocolate from Madagascar and Ecuador. The Turkish figs are crunchy, chewy and just slightly sweet. One with Greek pistachios blends salt, sweet (milk chocolate) and nut crunch. There’s a salute to Belgians love for specoloos (gingerbread) by rolling a truffle in the crumbs.

Gerbaud is really a chocolate pusher because once you get addicted to his intense flavor combos, it is very hard to go back to sweetened chocolate.

www.chocolatsgerbaud.be

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Bruges Frites and Chocolate Museums

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Every other shop in Bruges, it seems, is a chocolate shop – 50 or so but who’s counting?  Bruges, known for its medievalness, has a playful side when it comes to tourist museums, with one for chocolate and another for fries. The chocolate museum started out as a private collection of everything to do with the history and making of chocolate.

You will learn that milk chocolate is 45% sugar, and that when chocolate made its way to Europe by the Spanish explorers, it was a drink with a secret recipe for making it – til the 1800’s. The process of conching was invented around then, which made it possible to create hardened chocolate for eating. You can see the cups they drank it in, and they sure were super-sized. Fries with that?

www.choco-story.be


Chips (fries) were  created in the US in 1852 in Saratoga, NY all because of a dissatisfied customer. When he complained to George Crum about his potato, Mr Crum sliced it into little pieces to annoy him. Instead he loved it! French fries were possibly misnamed during WWII when American soldiers, hearing Belgians eating fries and talking French, thought they were French food.

Potatoes around the world are covered too – see if you can find the pink and purple ones. If all this fry talk has gotten you a bit hungry, don’t worry, there’s a fries shop in the basement where you can have them with the traditional mayonnaise or pickle sauce, mustard or curry ketchup.

www.frietmuseum.be

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Hershey, PA isn’t just about Chocolate – here’s 6 fun things to do

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Started in 1907, Hershey, PA might have been built with chocolate, but these days you’ll find a walk-through zoo, a forest drive with animated light displays, Dickens very much alive, and even a chocolate fondue wrap at the spa. And what can be more delicious than hotels which have bowls of Hershey kisses wherever you turn?

Christmas in Chocolate Town – the Musical

All through this month (December) at Hershey Lodge there is a dinner musical revue, “Christmas in Chocolate Town”, which starts with carolling and then covers everyone’s favorite holiday songs. After punch, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and a yummy dessert (ya think it might have chocolate in it?), the lights go down and the magic begins.

Charles Dickens Returns

If that dinner doesn’t excite you, then how about one including the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens! He performs a one-man show on December 6th and 7th while you enjoy an elegant four-course dinner.

Chocolate Spa at The Hotel Hershey

For a chocolate lover, this is the ultimate holiday treat – chocolate themed spa experiences (Peppermint Pattie Scrub and Chocolate Fondue Wrap anyone?) including lunch in a Moroccan themed restaurant.
Peppermint Pattie Spa Treatment

photo: Hersheypark

Alligator lounging around the zoo
photo: Hersheypark

An Alligator roaming the zoo

North American Wildlife Park

Attached to Hersheypark by a walking bridge is ZooAmerica. This is an 11-acre walk-through zoo with more than 200 animals representing over 75 species, displayed in their natural habitats. The zoo is open all year round.

Hershey Sweet Lights

Driving throught the woodsEvenings starting at 5 pm, all the way to New Year’s Day, you don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy two miles of wooded trails that have been elaborately decoratedwith over 600 animated sparklingly lit displays.

See if you can find the Rudolph characters hidden among the lights. Remember to tune your radio to their private station to listen to holiday music as you drive.

Driving through the woods

photo: Hersheypark

Holiday Packages

Holiday Packages include a Chocolate Spa Getaway, breakfast with Santa, Cottage Party, and a family New Year’s Eve Party. You’ll find something to do every day.You’ll find something to do every day.

To see more articles and tips about having fun while travelling the world, subscribe here at my Examiner web site.