Who doesn’t love some chocolate? That’s right, just about no one. From fancy French chocolates to Hershey’s to hot cocoa, people all over the world just can never seem to get enough. Over the last few years, NYC has experienced booms in a number of culinary areas…from Thai to BBQ to food trucks. One food that’s always been around but has somewhat risen to new prominence is the all-powerful CHOCOLATE. The heavenly substance is lowed by all, be it men, women, or kids. All cultures love it and may even specialize in some form of it. It’s pretty much been around forever and I can’t see it going anywhere ever. That being said, these five chocolate therapies, from walks to classes, will keep you going.
1. LUXURY CHOCOLATE
It began five years ago as an online magazine (chocolatezoom.com). It is not a really popular walking tour. The tours are offered in various neighborhoods, but Chocolate Zoom’s most sought-after offering is the Luxury Chocolate Tour that visits five European chocolatiers on the Upper East Side, such as Debauve & Gallais and La Maison du Chocolat. It’s held on Thursdays through Sundays at noon. Tours last two to three hours.
INFO $70, 212-209-3370, sweetwalks.com
2. CUSTOM TOURS
A chocolate tour guide for the 92nd Street Y named Alexandra Leaf offers chocoholics customized versions of those tours at Chocolate Tours of NYC. Leaf takes groups from 6 to 60 on visits to famous chocolatiers like Jacques Torres, where the Ménage a Trois bonbon is a favorite, and Kee’s Chocolate, where she recommends the one-bite Creme Brûlée. These are by request only. Tours run three hours.
INFO Prices start at $80 per person (with discounts for kids), chocolatetoursnyc.com
3. CHOCOLATE, DESSERT & WINE
The Chocolate, Dessert & Wine Tour of the Upper West Side offers guests a taste of truffles and bonbons, fresh baked cookies and pastries, and gelato, all paired with fine wines from around the world. A recent tour included trendy Pour wine shop, beloved Levain Bakery and Italian cafe and gelateria, Bombolini. This is held on Sundays, 2:30 to 5 p.m. (Tour resumes Jan. 8.) Meet on West 72nd Street and Broadway.
INFO $56.50, 212-535-8687, cityfoodtours.com
4. FACTORY TOUR
Head to Williamsburg where Mast Brothers Chocolate offers behind-the-scenes factory tours. This wonderful place explains how the simple cacao bean becomes a super luxe, craft chocolate bar. Learn about roasting, cracking, winnowing, conching and tempering — processes essential to creating perfect chocolate — then taste the finished product. Held on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30 p.m. 111A N. Third St., Brooklyn.
INFO $9.99, 718-388-2625, mastbrothers.com
5. CHOCOLATE CLASS
Sign up at the Institute of Culinary Education if you are looking to go one step further and create your own masterpiece. Classes and hands-on instruction is offered for making everything from chocolate cakes to brownies to truffles. The Truffles class is the most popular, though it tends to sell out quickly. If you get shut out, try for the equally delicious Chocolate Galore workshop. Class times vary. 50 W. 23rd St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
INFO $110, 800-522-4610, iceculinary.com