When you think of places to sample the world’s finest chocolate, one might think of Switzerland, Belgium or France. It’s unlikely anyone would suggest Portland, Oregon. Surprisingly, you can take a “world tour” of chocolate tasting all within a ten block radius of downtown Portland. The Chocolate Decadence tour, offered by the Portland Walking Tours company, provides not only an opportunity to try a wide variety of chocolate, but also a fun venue for learning about where cacao is grown, how it is processed and then manufactured into one of the world’s favorite foods.
Ably led by our resident expert guide, our group wove our way through the streets from shop to shop. At Teuscher, specializing in imported Swiss confections, we sampled their signature Champagne truffle. My favorite at Belgian chocolate vendor Leonidas was the Manon Dark candy made of dark chocolate, praline and caramelized hazelnuts with a flavor reminiscent of rich café mocha. At the Cacao outlet near West Burnside and SW 13th Avenue we compared six different brands of bar chocolate from around the world.
By group consensus our favorite stop was at Moonstruck Chocolates near SW 6th and Alder, whose unique confections are made right in Portland. From the whimsical to the sublime, Moonstruck has something for everyone. Most of us took advantage of the 10% discount they offered to tour participants. There were some other surprises that I won’t give away, but for anyone who loves chocolate, this tour is a “must do” when you visit Portland.
Photo credit: Tamara Muldoon