I love chocolate. I love it so much, I would live on chocolate alone if it were possible. The best present anyone can give me is a box of assorted chocolates, complete with a little index where I can identify which one is which and choose the order in which I will devour them.
Luckily, I am not alone in my passion, and there are many around the world who share it. If, like me, you can’t have enough of this sweet and creamy confection, and are always on the quest for new and interesting chocolates to try, exciting chocolate shops to visit and beautiful chocolate-themed gifts to buy yourself, here are 6 chocolate lover websites you really shouldn’t miss.
Chocomize is a pioneer in the custom chocolate bars field, and is my go-to website when I want to create my own customized chocolate bars. The basic idea behind Chocomize is to give you a plain milk, dark or white chocolate bar, and let you choose up to 5 toppings which will be added to the bar. The variety of toppings is huge – from your regular nuts and fruits all the way to candies, herbs, spices and even potato chips and vegetarian bacon.
The chocolate is not cheap, but it’s of excellent quality, and the dark chocolate bars are even vegan. Chocomize currently ships to the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and the UK, and the shipping costs are very fair.
If you’re always on the lookout for new chocolate shops and chocolatiers, Chocomap can help you find them wherever you go. The best feature on Chocomap is, of course, the map. Using the map, you can choose any city from a long list of cities worldwide, and find all the chocolate makers who have joined the Chocomap index. Naturally, some cities have more options than others, and the bigger the city the more options there are to choose from.
When you click on a marker, you’ll find the chocolatier’s name, a link to its website, a local address and a short paragraph about the place. Aside from the map you’ll also find the chocolate hall of fame, featuring the best bonbons and bars from around the world, interviews with chocolatiers, chocolate lessons and more.
All Chocolate is a great resource for chocolate-related articles, whether you’re interested in how cacao beans are grown, chocolate history, chocolate tastings and pairings or chocolate’s health benefits. The website also includes recipes which you can browse by type, course, occasions and brand.
Chocolate on Etsy
If you don’t already know it, Etsy is a worldwide handmade marketplace, where people can sell their handmade creations and other people can buy beautiful and original items. If you search for “chocolate” on Etsy, you’ll enter an amazing world of handmade chocolates and cookies, chocolate-themed clothes and jewelry and unique chocolate molds. If you choose to look at vintage results, you’ll find some great gems such as this Hershey chocolate milk vintage phone or this awesome chocolate pot demitasse.
This is a great place to find gifts for a chocolate lover, if you happen to know one.
While not really a website per se, Chocolatier brings the world of chocolate making into a fun computer game, or three of them, to be precise. The first Chocolatier game was released 5 years ago, with Chocolatier 2 and 3 following close on its heels. The games are casual strategy games, where you have to travel the world, gather ingredients and manufacture chocolates. The games are somewhat quest like, and have a clear beginning and ending, but each will offers hours of fun before you finish it.
You can download the games either from PlayFirst (currently $6.99 each) or BigFish Games (currently $2.99 each). The games are available for Windows, Mac and iPad, although I recommend avoiding the unstable iPad version for now.
If you’re tired of shopping for it, it might be time to make it. Instructables offers several detailed lessons on making chocolate at home from scratch. Yes, that means from the actual beans. You can try How to Make Chocolate From Scratch by Mongpoovian or From Bean to Bar: Dark Chocolate from Scratch by itsallaroundyou, which both look very promising.
If making chocolate from actual beans seems a bit much, you can also try checking out Homemade chocolate using cocoa powder by Lord Shigi. Do let me know if you’ve actually made some chocolate, so I can be inspired to make some myself!
Do you know of other chocolate lover websites I missed? Where do you go for your online chocolate dose? Tell us all in the comments.
Image credit: Bob.Fornal
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