A food tour that combines a strolling through Beverly Hills and stopping for chocolate goodies along the way? Sounds great! The Chocolate Tour of Beverly Hills was indeed a decadent combination of sampling tasty delights and sightseeing.
Winery tours have been around for years, but food tours are growing in types of cuisines involved and areas incorporated. Nowadays, food tours are offered in many major metropolitan areas with renowned cuisines, local delicacies or a lot of fun places near each other with comparable treats to taste. The Los Angeles area offers dozens of food tours in various locales.
Chocolate tours are very popular in major food hubs that offer gourmet chocolate treats. Different companies offer tours in Paris, London, New York, Beverly Hills as well as many cities not known for chocoholic havens like Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Sydney and others.
This weekend, Great Food Tours offered their Chocolate Tour of Beverly Hills, which featured an excursion to seven sites in the area. There were candies, cupcakes, macarons, brownies and more to try. The samples stops and tasting temptations were:
- Sprinkles: This bakery is credited with starting the cupcake craze and has a devoted Hollywood following. They craft they cupcakes with top ingredients, including pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, real strawberries, fresh bananas and carrots and citrus zests. The tour group sampled the Belgian dark chocolate with bittersweet frosting. Sprinkles is now a chain, with 17 locations in several states, many of which feature their iconic Cupcake ATM, which allows fans to satisfy their cupcake cravings 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Sugarfina: The couple behind Sugarfina went to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on their third date and started fantasizing developing a candy shop for grown-ups. They offer an amazing selection of worldwide taste treats and unusual versions of local favorites like rainbow raisins, which are California raisins dipped in milk chocolate, rolled in dried fruit, then coated with a bright candy shell. The tour group tasted cuba libre gummies (spiced rum and cola flavored), white chocolate covered almonds disguised as martini olives, and an item of each person’s choice.
- Edelweiss Chocolates: Edelweiss has been a Beverly Hills tradition since 1942, with a famous clientele spanning the centuries. Katherine Hepburn wrote in her autobiography, Me, about their Dark Chocolate Turtles. Mama Partridge Shirley Jones once owned the shop. But, the small store’s most famous fan was Lucille Ball, who was fascinated by the way they made some of their chocolate treats using a conveyor belt and sorting table. The rest was television history when she built a classic episode of her show around the concept. Their store-made chocolate covered marshmallows were great.
- ‘Lette Macaron: Inspired by a love of the classic Parisian treats, ‘Lette opened in 2007. The bakery was a collaboration between Paulette Koumetz, the owner and a macaron connoisseur, and French pastry chef Christophe Michalak. The shop, which now has seven locations, offers a kaleidoscope of flavors in bright colors. There are the lemon, rose and other usual flavors (the chocolate tour naturally partook of chocolate), as well as some unusual ones, including coconut, earl grey tea, passion fruit, salted caramel and violet cassis.
- Vosges Haut-Chocolat: This shop had the most exotic chocolate offerings that the group sampled. There were truffles with curry powder, milk and dark chocolate with bits of bacon in them, as well as chocolate bars with combinations like pomegranate and Goji or tart cherries and African red tea. The store has a Moroccan décor inspired by founder Katrina Markoff, who studied culinary arts then embarked on a world tour that began with an apprenticeship in Spain and continued east through Southeast Asia and Australia. The concept of Travel the World through Chocolate™ was inspired by her journeys.
- Beverly Hills Brownie Co.: The boutique features 26 unique varieties of brownie indulgences originally sold online and now available in their storefront location. There are the usual chocolate-based brownies, that were rich, totally decadent treats enjoyed on the tour. There are also red velvet brownies, S’mores brownies, poppy seed brownies, peanut brittle brownies and several other options.
- Teuscher: The Teuscher [toy-shur] family has been making Swiss truffles and finest quality chocolate in Zürich for 80 years. They ship their merchandise weekly in small batches to their stores throughout the world. At this final tour stop, the group enjoyed their famous Champagne Truffles, create 50 years ago with a center featuring cream made with Dom Pérignon that was enrobed in a dark chocolate ganache. This offered the group a perfect toast to end the sampling tour of Beverly Hills chocolate taste treats.
By Dyanne Weiss
Personal participation in tour
Great Food Tours