Chocolate Tour at Harvard Square

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.

hi rise

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:

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

hi rise chocolate bread

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.

cocoa beans

from cocoa beans

cocoa nibs

to cocoa nibs

cocoa butter

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.

LA Burdick

and if you can taste just one luscious piece of chocolate, you’ll understand why I love it

LA Burdick counter

It was great hearing about their products. It was also great receiving the decadent samples

barb

look how happy Barb was with her demi hot dark chocolate!

More pictures from the tour:

crema cafe

Crema Cafe was packed…

emilia

… 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

finale

We also went to Finale

dark chocolate decadence

well, hello there, dark chocolate decadence

JP Licks kiddie

And we went to JP Licks

cardullos

And Cardullo’s

cardullos chocolate

where we had more chocolate samples

cardullos cheese

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.

sweet

and this was the Sweet ending to our tour

sweet cupcakes

so pretty, so sweet, so perfect

milk

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?

   

13 Responses to “Chocolate Tour at Harvard Square”

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    Becky posted August 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    What a fun and delicious activity! I am going to remember this for when friends and relatives come to visit. My BFF and I would be in chocolate heaven together. :)

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    christina posted August 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    a chocolate tour!? that is awesome. i love the vip badges. you bet your butt if i ever did a chocolate tour i’d demand vp status. haha. that’s funny that they wouldn’t let you take pictures in lush! :( that place smells so darn good. :) cute pic of you guys! — you are so pretty!

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    Jessica posted August 25, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Everything looks amazing! Holy Yum!

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    Patty posted August 25, 2010 at 2:50 am

    A chocolate tour sounds AWESOME, I want to go to one, too!!

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    MelissaNibbles posted August 25, 2010 at 4:37 am

    I’m not a fan of chocolate so I’ve never been on a chocolate tour. If they had a vanilla tour or a frosting tour, I’d go every weekend! I’ve been to the Fluff Festival though!

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    Michelle posted August 25, 2010 at 8:49 am

    This looks like such a great time! I did the chocolate-making class and it was also a lot of fun but I definitely want to do one of these chocolate tours!

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    Daisy posted August 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    this is awesome! what a fun experience for you. What I want most on this cold rainy day is that hot chocolate barb looks so happy to be holding.

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    Mark posted August 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I love Cardullo’s that shop is awesome.

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    Lizzy posted August 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    That looks like so much fun… I’ve always claimed to not have a sweet tooth- but I couldn’t turn down that much amazing food! Wow!

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    Katie Orr posted August 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    This is fabulous! I’m so want to do this tour because of you. And I unfortunately now MUST have some chocolate tonight…

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    Emily posted August 26, 2010 at 10:23 am

    What a cool idea! I actually tried to go into Krema Cafe over the weekend while doing some shopping in the Square and it was PACKED. So, I went across the street to Sweet and got my sugar fix there instead. So yummy!

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    Dana posted August 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    oh my goodness I’m drooling at your pictures…. this sounds like an awesome tour!!

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    Angela (the diet book junkie) posted August 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    oh wow, that looks like heaven. especially the half-brownie/half-bread, is there anything more genius?? Sydney does chocolate tours also, but i’m afraid i’ve already tried them all :P

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