Boston Chocolate Walking Tours…..what? Yes, you heard me correctly. Boston has these tours centered around introducing a person to the world of chocolate, along with the history of chocolate and more importantly tastings. Right now there are two tour companies, Boston Chocolate Walking Tours and Boston Chocolate Tours doing this sort of thing. I want to focus mainly on the Boston Chocolate Walking Tours although I much prefer the Boston Chocolate Tours. But first, I will talk about our experience and then I’ll share why I prefer the latter.
Valerie, the CEO and Founder started bringing friends with her on these “chocolate tours,” and when she returned to the States she realized that there was such wonderful chocolate shops and cafes right here, that there should be a tour to spotlight them and to connect chocolate lovers with the best chocolate items. There was no chocolate tour, so she started one, and now operates tours in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
I took my Mom along for a great afternoon walking around Boston and absorbing all we could about all things cocoa. The tour focused on the Back Bay area of Boston which is where the famed Newbury Street holds many wonderful chocolate shops and is within a short distance of Boston Common. Olivia Miller served as our guide for the afternoon.
We started our tour at Teuscher Chocolates. This place is hidden in one of the lower levels of buildings all along Newbury Street. If you didn’t know it was there, sadly you’d walk right past it. Some 50 years ago in the Swiss mountains, chocolatier Teuscher created The Champagne Truffle by which all others are measured. Their Champagne Truffle has a dark chocolate ganache center that is enriched by a creamy infusion containing Dom Perignon Champagne. Its enrobing consists of milk chocolate and it is finally sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar to produce the Champagne Truffle’s distinctive look. Another stand out characteristic that sings Teuscher, is their distinctive decorations and elaborate chocolate boxes. Many claim it is like having our own little piece of Europe right in downtown Boston. Unfortunately for my mother and I, they weren’t giving out samples of the Champagne Truffle on our visit, but the substitute truffle we were given was pretty good all the same. We were given a history of Teuscher while we munched on our truffles.
Our next stop was to DeLuca’s Market. They are located on the corner of Fairfield St. and Newbury St. and have been in business for over 100 years bringing some of the finest produce to the area, and now chocolate! I love going into their store on regular visits just to see what fun stuff they have. We each got to try a tiny piece of a Wild Ophelia’s Sweet Cherry and Pecan Bar before we moved onto our next location.
It was a busy Saturday at Pinkberry, but regardless we braved the long lines to try teeny tiny samples of their frozen yogurt as the next stop on our tour. There wasn’t a whole lot of history on the Pinkberry brand that we were introduced to, but rather we got more information on the evolution of chocolate into different mediums such as ice cream and eventually frozen yogurt. Even though Pinkberry offered some fun ideas to do with frozen yogurt, I wasn’t impressed as I’m not a big fan of yogurt to begin with and this was very tangy and yogurt-like. Definitely more real than the conventional frozen yogurt found in many locations, but still not something I’d go out of my way to eat. Given me fatty cream laden ice cream any day!
Out next stop brought us to the Lindt Chocolate shop on Boylston St. (which parallels Newbury St.). At this location we got the best review of chocolate types starting with white chocolate and evolving to a very high percentage bar of 90%. We also got to try different types of bars that included various fruits and nuts. It was a great place to actually be able to taste subtle differences and really get an appreciation of all the varieties chocolate can come in.
Our last stop on the tour lead us past Copley Square which is the location for Old South Church, Trinity Church and Boston Public Library to Gourmet Boutique. They are located in the shopping area of The Westin right off Copley Square and truly offer one of the largest and most expansive offerings of chocolates that I’ve ever seen. We got to try a few small samples of some of their delicacies, but the time was better spent looking through all the amazing offerings that the Gourmet Boutique had on hand. My mom even spotted a brand of chocolates which is made in Missouri, my new home!
All in all the tour was fun, but even my mom agreed, the samples were very sparse and it felt like we took part in something we could have easily arranged for ourselves. If you paid full price for one person, you were looking at $40.00. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this tour for the price, or if you’re expecting lots of samples. For even half of that you could go to all these places and gain a much higher amount of chocolate. I’m also willing to bet you could ask the staff at each of the locations and get the same information. I did say as much on their Facebook page and got a very prompt reply back from Valerie their CEO. She gave me two free tickets to go on the tour again. Kind of lame if I didn’t like the tour the first time around, but I ended up giving them to a friend and hopefully she can benefit from the experience and have a good time regardless of my biased opinions.
To leave you on a good note and not in any kind of chocolate misery, I would HIGHLY recommend the tour with Boston Chocolate Tours. I had the opportunity to go on one of their tours when they first came to Boston and I was so laden down with chocolate and new information, that I could barely function for the rest of the weekend. It was TRUE bliss. So go check them out and tell me what you think if you go on either of these tours in the comments below.