I was giddy with excitement when I first heard about Boston Chocolate Tours. It’s a guided tour around Boston, and routes include Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall/North End, Harvard Square, and the South End. It’s a walking tour that revolves around chocolate. Yes, you’re allowed to drool but please try to do so discreetly. Other people mostly just squeal with happiness.
A couple of weeks ago, I met David “Sweet Tooth” Goldstein, Founder, Ringleader and Chief Taster of Boston Chocolate Tours – otherwise known to me as The Genius behind the tours. He generously sent me two tickets to the Harvard Square Chocolate Tour (thank you, David!) so last Sunday, my friend Barb and I spent over 2 hours in chocolate bliss.
At 10 am (actually at 9:50 am, since Barb & I are always early), we met the rest of the tour group at HiRise Bread. We were greeted by a very cheerful Emilia, our Harvard Square Choco-Guide. Emilia was like a fresh burst of sunshine on that particularly rainy Sunday. She was so pleasant and knowledgeable; her enthusiasm complemented the palpable excitement of the whole group, and she made everyone feel so at ease.
notice we are wearing “Chocolate VIP” ID’s
We settled into a room with our goody bags, filled with information about our destinations for the day, discount vouchers, wetnaps, and a bag of pretzels:
you know how when you’re shopping for perfume, there’s always a jar of coffee beans to break up and neutralize the smells? the salty pretzels do the same for chocolate tastings
we were also given our first sample of the day: Hi-Rise chocolate rounds – half-brownie, half bread
I have to say now that one of the best things I like about the chocolate tour is that we were given little baggies where we can store our samples/leftovers. As much as I LOVE chocolate, there really is such a thing as too much chocolate (I never thought I’d say those words!). After I tried a little bite of this brownie creation (and it was delicious), I decided to save the rest for later. So my chocoholic tip for you is: if you’re considering on going on one of these tours in the future, I suggest you do the same and only eat 1 or 2 bites of each sample, save the rest for later. There will be MORE samples in the next two hours, so just enjoy everything in moderation.
Emilia gave us a quick history of chocolates and told us how chocolate is made. It was very interesting and set the tone for the rest of the tour.
from cocoa beans
to cocoa nibs
and cocoa butter
We were given a few minutes to use the restroom and buy some water (another chocoholic tip: bring a bottle of water with you! And also an umbrella, while we’re on the subject of what to bring). Then away we went! I was so psyched that our first stop was my favorite chocolate store in the whole world, LA Burdick. This is my go-to place for gifts and special occasions and hot chocolate. Even my boyfriend, who is not easily impressed with chocolate (especially compared to me hehe), likes the chocolates here – we once finished a quarter pound assortment in one sitting.
and if you can taste just one luscious piece of chocolate, you’ll understand why I love it
It was great hearing about their products. It was also great receiving the decadent samples
look how happy Barb was with her demi hot dark chocolate!
More pictures from the tour:
Crema Cafe was packed…
… so sweet Emilia brought us out the Mud Pie Chocolate Cookies! Our group enjoyed them in the middle of the crowds, construction work, and rain
We also went to Finale
well, hello there, dark chocolate decadence
And we went to JP Licks
where we had more chocolate samples
while I wandered over to the cheese counter
I’m not going to lie: at that point, all I wanted was some salty cheese. And the cheese counter at Cardullo’s is just wonderful. The guys working behind the counter are extremely helpful and I’m always satisfied with whatever cheese I end up with – but then again, cheese is my other food love. But, good thing we had the pretzels! Just one little pretzel was enough to tame my taste buds into submission.
Another disclosure: we also went to Lush, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures. I rebelled by buying some shampoo, conditioner, and massage bars. That’s what they get for having such charming employees, beautiful natural products, and a heavenly-smelling store. So there.
and this was the Sweet ending to our tour
so pretty, so sweet, so perfect
oh another chocoholic tip? Try to bring some milk along with you.
The Chocolate Tour was such a fun, sumptuous experience. It was really well paced and informative. And it felt like such a treat! I think it’s great not just for Boston tourists but also for locals who’d like to learn more about chocolate and the unique neighborhoods. The only way I think it could have been better is if there was more flavor or textural variety in the samples – maybe a chocolate piece with more nuts, or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream instead of plain chocolate, or chocolate caramel cake instead of just dark chocolate, or even spicy chocolate?
If you’re planning on attending a chocolate tour, remember my personal tips: only eat 1 or 2 bites of each sample, bring a bottle of water with you (and an umbrella, in case it rains), and try to bring milk too :) Other than that, enjoy the walk, the company, and the chocolates!
Boston Chocolate Tours also offer Chocolate and Wine Tours (yup, you read that right). For more info, check out their website, their Facebook page and Twitter. The Harvard Square tour gets my full chocoholic seal of approval!
Have you been on a chocolate tour? What’s your most memorable group/walking tour?