Here at Daily Vacationer, we love chocolate. We assume that most people love chocolate. In fact, we're a little taken aback at people who don't love chocolate. There will be those rare moments when someone will confide quietly that they "just aren't big chocolate people", and it's a bit like having someone tell you that they prefer to wear their underwear backwards. Why???? For the rest of us, and according to statistics, MOST of us, chocolate is quite simply one of the most amazing parts of life.
It's no secret that we also love Philadelphia. Unlike certain other cities, when you love Philadelphia, you don't have to keep quiet about it in the fear that someone will mistake you for a tourist. Philly, like chocolate, is incredible. Awash in art, culture, and commerce, it has a rich history like no other city in the country. Unlike many other things, chocolate is not actually one of Philly's famous "firsts", but that doesn't stop the city from being a fantastic place to experience chocolate.
When Daily Vacationer discovered Philadelphia Chocolate Tours, we were beyond thrilled. Philadelphia AND chocolate?! A tour of chocolate IN Philadelphia!?! TASTING various kinds of chocolate while experiencing Philadelphia??!! We couldn't sign ourselves up for a tour fast enough!
The tour begins in the perfect location for experiencing Philly food: Reading Terminal Market. Those looking for a real taste of Philadelphia (food-wise and environment-wise) will be thrilled to make their way through this hub of city history and amazing eats. We would have been excited to stop at just about any vendor in the market, but we were super thrilled when our tour guide came to a halt beside The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company. Offering a dozen different varieties, this is the place to go for some of the best cookies in town. But we weren't there for the Peanut Butter or the Snickerdoodle. We were there for the world's most favorite kind of cookie: the chocolate chip. While we learned the history of the beloved chocolate chip cookie (apparently there was a Mrs. Tollhouse involved), a basket of cookies was passed around for our enjoyment. Warm and fresh out of the oven, they were amazing!
A little bit farther into the Reading Terminal Market, our next location on the tour was a place that served chocolate the way we at Daily Vacationer like it best! Bassett's Ice Cream is famous for many things: being the oldest ice cream company in America, being one of the original vendors from when Reading Terminal Market opened, and for being a family-run company for five generations. But most of all, Bassett's is famous because its ice cream is just that good. People come to Bassett's for the touristy, photo-op. People come back to Bassett's because it's one of the best brands they've ever had. On the tour we got to enjoy a couple tastes of the double chocolate. It was so good that we may or may not have returned directly after the tour was over to order the biggest available size.....
From Reading Terminal Market, the tour guide lead us through Center City to Verde, an unbelievably cute boutique on 13th Street. Not only does Verde stock amazing clothing and accessories, it's also the home of Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. During the day you can actually watch the chocolatiers at work right in the back of the store! The assortment of chocolates is both tasty and cute (we love their Philadelphia Series!), and after a taste of the dark chocolate mixed berry bark, we all wanted to take some home with us (along with everything else in the store).
The next stop on the tour was Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, a fantastic little place located in the grand and historic Shops at the Bellevue. The opulent surroundings added to the experience of tasting amazing Swiss chocolate. Teuscher is known for their truffles, and we were certainly blown away by our taste of the champagne truffle. From kitchens in Zurich, the Teuscher recipes put our "everyday chocolate" to shame.
The final stop on the tour brought us to the refreshing and ever delicious Capogiro Gelato Artisans. Bringing a taste of Italy with flavors from local Pennsylvania, Capogiro's gelato assortment is vast and enticing. Thankfully, they allow you to taste as many as you wish before making a flavor selection. On the tour, we were able to sample four different varieties that of course all had chocolate in common. We then voted on which was our favorite gelato and which was our favorite stop on the tour (with several members of the tour voting for every flavor and place as their favorite).
We had an amazing time on the Philadelphia Chocolate Tour. Our guide was friendly, fun, and knowledgeable. We learned about cocoa percentages, chocolate history, and Philly folklore while literally getting a taste of the city the brotherly love (the sweetest tour in town!). Tours vary during the week and run from one and a half to two and a half hours long. Groups get the chance to browse and shop at each location, giving guests a chance to pick up tasty treats to give as gifts (or possibly eat themselves on the way to their next location.....). Philadelphia Chocolate Tours Gift Certificates are also available for those who want to give the whole experience to someone else. This is the perfect tour for anyone who loves chocolate!
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