If bread is the staff of life, chocolate is the crown.
Since the first cocoa bean was whacked on a stone and dropped into a food or beverage by a nameless cook thousands of years ago somewhere in the Americas—let’s just agree that she was a genius—chocolate has relentlessly beguiled our sense of taste, from sweet to savory. It has, arguably, inspired more culinary creativity than any other flavor and assumed cultural and economic significance in societies across millennia and around the world.
In the twenty-first century, interest in chocolate is more intense than ever. We’re eating more: Americans consume more than 12 pounds per person per year, but the Swiss (no wonder) eat the most at more than 14 pounds. Our tastes in chocolate are becoming more sophisticated and our interests more global. Chocolate-loving travelers are a growing segment of the travel and leisure market and the hospitality industry is responding to the demand for with a vast array of chocolate products, amenities, cruises, tours, resort activities, festivals, tastings and spa treatments.
The ChocolateAtlas.com is an interactive source for sophisticated chocophiles who are interested in new and different products and travel experiences. We provide chocolate news, information and discoveries. We invite readers to share their opinions and experiences and recipes with other chocophiles.
Patricia D. Sherman was senior editor of The Meeting Professional magazine and she writes for professional magazines in the hospitality industry. She taught business and professional writing at several Midwestern universities and managed a business-to-business communications and advertising firm. She has also been a newspaper feature writer. She has an M.A. in English. She is also editor of www.CocktailAtlas.com.
Madelyn Miller wonders if perhaps her mother put chocolate in her baby formula because from her first taste she has been addicted to chocolate. She was not a fussy baby, but she is fussy about her chocolate now. She prefers dark chocolate and thinks the best pairing is not milk, but Rosa Regale wine.
Madelyn is always willing to taste a new chocolate blend or eat chocolate in a gourmet dish. She was thrilled to discover chocolate Risotto in Utah at the Red Mountain Adventure Spa, where she learned that chocolate can be used in low calorie dishes.
She is even more thrilled that research now shows chocolate is good for you. Madelyn never met an antioxidant she does not like, but prefers them chocolate coated.
Her most prized possessions include dozens of chocolate cookbooks, chocolate chip perfume and chocolate aromatherapy candles. Her best chocolate experiences were a week on a chocolate cruise and a chocolate full body massage at Daired’s.
Presentation counts for Madelyn. She loves things like chocolate toothbrushes like the one she found in Tremblant, Quebec. She adores chocolate covered Oreos, potato chips and pretzels. In fact, she strongly believes any junk food is better if covered with chocolate. She also loves hotels that leave chocolates on the pillow at night. But she thinks the universally wonderful chocolate amenity is the Doubletree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies.