Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Sweet Tooth ...

A true love confession from guest blogger,
Pamela N. Simoneau

It’s not my fault. It’s genetic. I can trace the lineage of the pesky gene back several generations. Fortunately for me, the Bean in Beantown refers to the cocoa bean. At least it does for this chocoholic. Needless to say, my Valentine’s Day – ok and most holidays – must feature some kind of sinful, soul-satisfying treat. That’s mainly because unlike regular days, the calories don’t count on special occasions like holidays and birthdays. Yes, Anybody’s birthday. 

This Valentine’s Day, consider giving your chocoholic friends or loved ones the sweetest experience in Boston: The Boston Chocolate Tour. Envision sampling the sublime while strolling Boston’s picturesque sidewalks. Pre-planned stops en route allow local purveyors to showcase their best creations and to offer a subtle education on the origin and evolution of their chocolate delicacies.  

As any fanatic worth her salt, or sugar, will tell you, a chocoholic can easily source a tasty morsel to quiet a craving. But the experts at Boston Chocolate Tours have assembled a heavenly smorgasbord of chocolate confections for indulging. For my first Boston Chocolate Tour – oh yes, there will be others – I chose the Back Bay route from a list of five individual Boston area tours.

From cocoa infused espresso at the Nespresso Boutique through Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chunk ice creams, Back Bay tour members encounter layers of previously-uncharted chocolate territory. Consider a chocolate lip balm from natural cosmetic company Lush, for example. “Lips like sugar” takes on a whole new meaning.  

Then check into Hotel Chocolat to experience a more luxurious suite of chocolate. Better than a traditional hotel, this shop is a highlight on the tour. It is by all definitions a sanctuary of authentic, gourmet chocolate. A few minutes in their tasting room will have you happily reaffirming your addiction. Their knowledgeable staff shares the establishment’s fascinating history and philosophy while you follow along, tasting chocolate that can only be described as transcendent.  

On the day of my tour, our guide Victoria steered the party down Newbury Street while narrating amusing stories with chocolate-related anecdotes. The group also stopped at Teuscher to savor their signature Champagne truffles. Afterwards, those not blissfully intoxicated by sophisticated concoctions, moved on to the award winning SWEET Cupcakes.  Here, the seasonal delights are as tasty as they are decorative. 

via Sweet Gallery

My advice? Try everything. Take home the few samples you’re too full to eat during the tour to share with family or to squirrel away in your own secret stash. Either way, this sensational tour will leave you and your Valentines celebrating the day chocolate ascended from dessert menu to main event.  

For more information about the Boston Chocolate Tours, or to make reservations for a tour or a chocolate making workshop, go to

image via MIT Endicott House

This year as a special bonus, Boston Chocolate Tours is offering a Valentine’s Day Weekend of chocolate-related events. Taste of Chocolate and the MIT Endicott House have teamed up to present A Chocolate Lover’s Weekend on February 11th and 12th. The weekend begins Saturday at 9am with an Introduction to Chocolate and wraps up with a Chocolate Truffle Workshop on Sunday. Come for all or for part of a day. For information and reservations for the Chocolate Lover’s Weekend, call 617-253-5211 or email

Pamela N. Simoneau is a regular contributor

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