Sunday, September 04, 2011

DIY Portland Chocolate Tour

I'm a big fan of spending my afternoon noshing and laughing with Portland Walking Tours (hence why I've taken the same tour twice) and really wanted to spend some time with Chocolate Decadence...but we couldn't get the timing to work out right. So, we decided to make our own tour.

With a hotel right in the heart of Portland's chocolate district, we barely had to walk! We started a bit east of downtown with chain-store chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. When we were teens, Jeff & I loved treking down to Ashland for their truffles and carmel apples. Our tastes have grown up, because we didn't really like the truffles we tried. The chocolate was grainy and the fillings were kind of oily. They looked fantastic.

Once we got downtown, we went to Leonadis chocolates, a favorite of my friend Kris. Living in Europe ruined her for American chocolate, so when she needs a fix, this is where she goes. Now I know why.

This isn't a place to go when you're on a budget, but if you just want a truffle or two to calm your chocolate jones, go here. Like woah. The flavor combinations are amazing, and the chocolate is so fresh it tastes, well, better. Belgians know chocolate. 

We found Portland's own Moonstruck Chocolates next. I love Moonstruck so much, I wrote it into Compromising Positions (the chocolate they gift one another, and what he finally shares with her). They're very thoughtful in their chocolate, creating blends and flavor pairings that just make everything better. Plus, their caramels are divine.

Next, we tried Swiss chocolatier Teuscher. The store is very kitschy and Willy Wonka's chocolate river. They had some unique flavor combinations. Everything we tried as delicious and very creamy. 

My favorite stop of the trip had to be at Cacao for drinking chocolate. Walking Tours start at the Heathman, where the chocolate mecca is tucked into a corner, and begin with a shot of chocolate goodness. Jeff tried the cinnamon milk chocolate and it was just as delightful as my dark chocolate drink. You haven't experienced chocolate until you've sipped at Cacao.

Chocolate Decadence does more than just the chocolate shops -- there are rumors of cupcakes, cookies, gelato, and tips on how to pair chocolate with wine. But we did manage to find the best chocolate croissant outside of France at Pazzoria.

As much as I loved our DIY tour (and the cheap date price) I still want to do Chocolate Decadence. I love chocolate!

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