Chocolate. Food of the gods. Whether you love dark, milk, white or a mixture of all three, this treat carries a story of exotic places, long journeys and small families that raise delicate tropical fruit trees to bring us some of the most delicious products in the world. As you peel back the wrapper of your favourite variety you’re uncovering the cacao tree’s seed and joining people the world over who have turned to this mysterious food for ritual, medicine and sheer pleasure for the past 4,000 years. Chocolate, what would we do without you!?
Chocolate has very humble beginnings. The cacao bean begins life inside a fruit, on a tree primarily in remote areas of West Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Grows on a tree from a plant? It’s basically salad. These delicate, flower-covered trees tending and grow in harmony in tropical forests beneath bananas, rubber or hardwood trees. The beans leave cocoa farms by hand to be sold to a local buyer and then to processors abroad.Once in the factory, they are ground, pressed, heated and stirred to create luxurious slabs of deliciousness. The stuff we know as chocolate. With so many ethical varieties on our shelves these days ( Pana, Alter Eco and Loving Earth, I’m looking at you!) there really is no reason not to have a bite of the sweet stuff every now and again.
So in celebration of today I thought I would share some of my fave chocolate filled places around Brisbane.
1. Noosa Chocolate Factory, Brisbane CBD
Without doubt THE go-to place for your chocolate fix. In both solid and liquid form too might I add. If you want utter decadence, I recommend trying the 73% dark hot chocolate or iced mocha. Alternatively, buy as many chocolate covered berries, nuts and brownies while you’re there cause you will soon be addicted. All handmade, vegan and gluten free too. You’re welcome.
2. Chester St Bakery, Newstead
If you want a chocolate coated cake coma just head to Chester St. You only have to step inside and see the cake cabinets and you will know why. That is all.
3. Cowch, South Brisbane
Max Brenner is so last year. If you want a side of fun with your chocolate, moove any plans in your diary and head here for an udderly indulgent treat (or three!). You can create your own naked pops, udder puffs and choose from an array of chocolatey pastries and baked goods. Oh and the hot chocolates come in udder mugs drizzled with all the good stuff you could want. Go there, now. I’m serious.
4. New Farm Confectionery, New Farm
These guys are sweet geniuses. Chocolate in every form you can think of, all handmade here in Brisbane and oozing with local loveliness. If you can pry your eyes away from the sweet packaging, I recommend the freeze dried raspberry and white chocolate bark (pictured above) or the rocky road.. or the honeycomb! You’ll have a hard time choosing too.
If you feel like staying home to get your fix, there’s also a fabulous new concept called Chocolab. Basically you can make your own creations with whichever fillings and toppings you desire. Yep, you’re pretty much Willy Wonka. Plus it’s sent right to your doorstep. No late night 7-11 chocolate dashes required. Get on it!
So in celebration of World Chocolate Day, I hope you’re munching ( or about to now you know!) on some delicious chocolate. I’ll see you on the other side of your chocolate coma.