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I am in the Windy City for the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference that begins today. I arrived a day early to spend with my friend. We wanted to do something a little different, so we found the Chicago Chocolate Tour! Even though I am a dietitian, I can appreciate the incredibly good taste of chocolate. Of course, there are also numerouos health benefits of chocolate.
We made 6 different chocolate stops, and some of them were in places you would not expect. I loved this tour because I thought we would stop at 6 chocolate shops and maybe view how chocolate was made, but that is NOT what we did! We did stop at a few traditional chocolate shops, but we also "found" chocolate in some everyday places.
The Chicago Chocolate Tour was started by Valerie Beck, a Harvard trained lawyer who got fed up with the lawyer rat race and decided to follow her passion...eating chocolate! As a tiny petite and very fit-looking woman, she is a perfect example of someone who can fit chocolate calories into her life and still maintain an amazing figure.
My favorite stop was actually the first stop at Leonidas. They have 1,400 stores around the world and they have over 100 kinds of Belgian chocolate. Oh....these chocolates will send you into a state of euphoria and wanting more. A great way to start a chocolate tour!
The other stops we made were at a tea house called Argo tea where we sampled chocolate brownies and chocolate tea, and an Italian coffee house called Lavazza where we had vanilla gelato with drinking chocolate on top. Exquisite!
We made another stop at the "Wall of Chocolate" at Hannah's Bretzel where Jeff took us through the wall, breaking open several flavors of American and Eurpoean chocolate. One called Vosges even had pieces of bacon in it! I did not sample that one, but everyone else was raving about it. I did purchase a white chocolate Vosges bar with Kalamata olives. I will let you know how it is once I break into it!
The last stops were at the old Marshall Field's building. This building has a Tiffany ceiling and is absolutely gorgeous! We visited Frango, famous for it's mint chocolate and a cute little pastry shop called Sarah's Pastries and Candies.
Picture of our tour group with the skyline of Chicago done in Chocolate.