Everyone knows half the reason to study abroad is to try new foods and desserts, especially chocolate. For us Americans, it is hard to go back to plain ol’ Hershey’s after having the amazing chocolate the rest of the world offers. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a Reese’s now and again, but it’s just not the same.
For the lucky few who live in Boston, we have a store with all of the chocolate you fell in love with abroad. Gourmet Boutique, located in Copley at the Westin Mall, imports an incredible amount of chocolate from all over the world. From France to Vietnam, come travel the world through cocoa. They also offer a wide variety of international jams, teas and other sweets. If you don’t live in Boston, don’t worry, you can order baskets and trunks of chocolate online.
Gourmet Boutique has many french chocolate brands including Côte D’or, Maxim’s de Paris, Francois Pralus, Michel Cluizel, Bissinger’s and Valrhona. Missing your days in Paris? Take the T down to Copely, and go crazy with their wide selection of French chocolates. Gourmet Boutique also has macarons from Macaron Cafe in NYC. While not straight out of France, they’re so good, they might as well be.
If you studied abroad in Ireland like me, you know that Butlers is where it’s at. Butlers dark or milk chocolate, often filed with Irish cream or Irish Whiskey, just melts in your mouth. Boston is known for all things Irish and this chocolate just tops of the list.
If you made your way over to Austria (and even Germany), you definitely saw Mozart Kugels everywhere. This popular Austrian treat, with layers of dark chocolate and milk chocolate surrounding pistachio and almond marzipan with a hazelnut nougat center, is unlike any other chocolate. If you got addicted to these little balls of flavor and thought they were gone forever, you’re in luck. Even if you have never heard of these before, they are worth trying.
A personal favorite of mine is Cacao Sampaka. If you were lucky enough to discover this brand when you were in Spain, you know what I’m talking about. With an array of unique chocolate flavors, Cacao Sampaka offers chocolates such as spicy lime, roses and strawberries and gin & tonic (surprisingly tastes like the cocktail). Be careful because you can eat a whole bar in one sitting.
There are many people who study abroad inside the U.S., whether you spend a semester in DC or LA. Some people also road trip in college or spend a semester at a different U.S. university. If you are looking for something authentically American or had a craft chocolate bar in another part of the country, there’s a chance Gourmet Boutique has it. They carry bean to bar Somerville Chocolate from Massachusetts, Raaka from Brooklyn, Dick Taylor from California as well as many others.
#SpoonTip: If you are adventurous and love everything bagels, try the Humboldt State University Special Edition bar. It’s all the seasonings found on an everything bagel in a chocolate bar.
Belgium is known to have the best chocolate in the world due to its cocoa percentage requirements and years of honing the craft. Neuhaus is one of the most popular brands to come out of Belgium and if you spent anytime there are all, you probably saw it around. It is perfect for reminiscing about your amazing weekend in Brussels and all the chocolate and waffles you consumed.
Another brand to come out of Belgium is Dolfin. For the more adventurous chocolate lover, they offer a wider variety of crazy flavor pairings such as hot masala, pear and roasted almond and lemon and ginger. Dolfin has something for everyone with more traditional flavors as well.
Italian chocolate is like no other. Want Limoncello in a chocolate truffle? Italy is the place to go. If you were lucky enough to try one (or 10) of Caffarel’s Limoncello truffles you know how addicting they are. If you were in Italy for an entire semester you probably experienced withdrawal when you got back to the States and instantly started googling how to get them shipped to you. Well, if you are in Boston you can save on all the importing fees and just pop on down to Gourmet Boutique. They also carry other Italian chocolates like the out-of-this-world Amedei chocolate bars and candied lemon and orange rinds.
Kinder, especially the bueno bar, is loved by all Europeans, but especially in their home country of Germany. Talk about addicting, if you are stranded on a dessert island, but had an unlimited supply of bueno bars you probably wouldn’t even try to get home. Gourmet Boutique also has other kinder products as well as a lot of Haribo gummies and candies.
Another amazing chocolate to come out of Germany is Ritter Sport. It is so popular it has begun to pop up in some regular stores across America. If you were lucky enough to visit the factory in Berlin and make your own bar, you know how delicious this chocolate is. Gourmet Boutique carries some Ritter Sport you can’t find in the grocery store including the incredible coconut filled bar. If you love coconut, you have to stop by – actually life changing.
If you were able to make it to Vietnam during your travels, I hope you had the chance to try Marou. If not, maybe trying it now will bring you back to the flavors and vibes of Vietnam. This environmentally conscious chocolate is made with 100 percent Vietnamese ingredients for maximum authenticity. The company knows their farmers’ names and, while not technically fair trade, might as well be. All this makes Marou a chocolate that you can feel good about buying.
10. UK Cadbury
If you went to the UK and picked up a Cadbury bar, you may have noticed that it tastes a lot more chocolatey than its American counterpart. That is because Cadbury is made differently in the UK (with more cocoa). This gives it a more rich flavor and makes it a very different product than the American version – which is owned by Hershey’s. It is extremely hard to find the UK version of Cadbury in the States, but all of the Cadbury sold at Gourmet Boutique is straight out of the UK. Stock up and send it to all of your friends outside of Boston who are also missing the rich flavor of English Cadbury.
If you had the opportunity to go to Denmark, you might have tried some of Anthon Berg‘s chocolate. As the “Purveyors to the Royal Danish Court” Anthon Berg chocolate is as authentic as you can get. Gourmet Boutique has a variety of their famous chocolate covered marzipan. From peaches in brandy to strawberry champagne and plum in madeira, these fruit and alcohol concoctions are not to be overlooked. They also carry Anthon Berg’s famous chocolate liqueurs for a fun night out.
Milka is one of the most popular chocolate bars in Europe and, while mainly produced in Germany, it got its start in Switzerland. You may not have gone to Switzerland, but if you went to Europe you definitely say Milka everywhere. You may have even devoured several dozen of their bars over the course of your stay. With a huge selection of Milka products, Gourmet Boutique can more than satisfy all of your cravings.
13. Travel Inspired Chocolate
Vosges is one of the coolest chocolate companies around. A Vanderbilt graduate student turned Le Cordon Bleu student turned chocolatier is at the center of these unique chocolate bars. Inspired by her travels (mostly through Asia and Australia), she created chocolate bars with the flavors of those countries. This fusion is her way of appreciating and sharing the cultures she has experienced with the rest of the world. Vosges’ bars will bring you back to wherever the ingredients are from due to her preservation of the integrity of their flavor and culture.
#SpoonTip: She has many antioxidant combinations for those health-conscious foodies with a serious sweet tooth. It’s practically a superfood.
14. European Candy Bars
Not only does Gourmet Boutique carry the finest chocolates from many countries, but they also have the chocolate bars that you would see in a typical European convenience store. From Lion bars to Flakes and Crunchies, they have everything you remember from your time abroad. Check it out and reminisce about the good old days, eating chocolate on the streets of Europe.