Best Chocolate in Portugal
Portuguese Chocolate Desserts
Indulge in the decadent world of Portuguese chocolate desserts! The journey begins with the meticulous process of transforming roasted and ground cacao seeds into delectable treats. But not all chocolate is created equal – it’s the quality of the cacao that sets exceptional chocolate apart. In my quest to find the finest Portuguese chocolate, I meticulously tested various brands, and after much deliberation, I have handpicked the absolute best. Get ready to savor the rich flavors, velvety textures, and heavenly aromas of Portugal’s top chocolate brand. Prepare to embark on a mouthwatering adventure through the world of Portuguese chocolate desserts that will delight your taste buds and leave you craving more.
What is the history of chocolate?
I made a brief history of Chocolate on this infographic on the right.
Chocolate has a rich and fascinating history that spans thousands of years. It originated in Mesoamerica, where the ancient Mayans and Aztecs cultivated the cacao tree and cherished its beans. They believed that cacao had divine properties and used it in religious rituals and as a form of currency.
In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors encountered cacao during their explorations and brought it back to Europe. Initially, chocolate was consumed as a bitter beverage enjoyed by the elite. It gained popularity throughout Europe, and in the 18th century, advancements in processing techniques led to the creation of solid chocolate as we know it today.
The industrial revolution in the 19th century brought about innovations in chocolate production, making it more accessible to the masses. Companies such as Cadbury, Nestlé, and Hershey played significant roles in shaping the modern chocolate industry.
Over time, chocolate has evolved into a beloved treat enjoyed in various forms, including bars, truffles, and confections. It has also become an integral part of cultural celebrations and traditions worldwide, such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, and hot chocolate during winter months.
Today, the global chocolate industry continues to thrive, with a wide range of flavors, blends, and techniques to satisfy chocolate lovers’ cravings. From its ancient origins to the present day, chocolate remains a symbol of indulgence, comfort, and culinary delight for people around the world.
Where does the chocolate grow?
The cultivation of chocolate primarily takes place in Latin America, with its birthplace being Mexico. For centuries, chocolate had significant cultural and medicinal importance. The Mayans held chocolate in such high regard that they referred to it as the “drink of the gods.” The Aztecs recognized the value of cocoa beans and even used them as a form of currency in trade. The tropical regions of Latin America, including countries such as Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, provide the ideal climate and conditions for growing cacao trees, which produce the precious cocoa beans used to make chocolate. These regions offer the necessary combination of warm temperatures, abundant rainfall, and rich soil that contribute to the successful cultivation of high-quality chocolate ingredients.
The History of Chocolate in Portugal
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of chocolate in Portugal by booking our exclusive Food Tour in Braga. Delve into the centuries-old journey of cocoa, from its arrival in Europe with navigators to its transformation into delectable Portuguese treats. The traditional Conventual sweets, crafted by nuns and monks in convents and monasteries, form an integral part of our culinary heritage. These indulgent treats, laden with sugar, egg yolks, and almonds, showcase the rich legacy of our past.
Although cocoa took some time to make its way into Portuguese cuisine due to historical reasons, the chocolate industry experienced a revolutionary change during the Industrial Revolution. In 1828, the first chocolate-making machine was invented, and Joseph Fry introduced the world to the iconic chocolate bar in 1847. Portugal played a crucial role in the industry’s development by cultivating cocoa in São Tomé & Príncipe, a former colony in Africa. As one of the leading cocoa traders, we have a deep-rooted connection to this beloved ingredient.
Our Food Tour takes you to Chocolataria Equador, the epitome of exceptional chocolate craftsmanship in Portugal. Indulge in their exquisite creations made with cocoa sourced directly from São Tomé and Príncipe. With a commitment to fair trade and sustainability, Chocolataria Equador ensures that its chocolate is not only delicious but also ethically produced. As you explore the boutique chocolate store, don’t miss the opportunity to try their Dark Chocolate with Wine—an irresistibly delightful combination that will tantalize your taste buds.
Uncover the secrets of Portuguese chocolate and satisfy your sweet cravings on our Food Tour in Braga. Book now to embark on a delectable journey into the world of premium chocolate and experience the authentic flavors of Portugal!
Chocolate Festival in Portugal
Indulge in a chocolate lover’s dream at the enchanting Obidos Chocolate Festival in Portugal! If your travel plans coincide with the end of winter or the beginning of spring, you have a great chance to experience this delectable event. Mark your calendar for March 25th, 26th, 27th, April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, as these are the anticipated dates for the festival in 2022.
To make the most of your visit, we recommend attending the festival during the weekdays when the crowds are thinner. Weekends tend to attract more local visitors and tourists, resulting in larger crowds. However, the weekends also offer a plethora of exciting activities for both adults and children to enjoy.
The festival takes place next to Óbidos Castle, just opposite the village entrance. Tickets can be conveniently purchased at the ticket offices located near Óbidos Castle or online through the event’s official website. Admission is typically priced at 5€, with discounted rates available for children aged 3 to 11 years old.
As part of our exclusive Portugal Food Tours package, we offer a captivating walking tour in Óbidos, allowing you to explore the charming village and immerse yourself in its rich chocolate traditions. It’s a perfect opportunity to discover the fascinating history and exquisite flavors of Portuguese chocolate.
Even if you’re unable to visit Óbidos during the festival, there’s no need to fret! You can still savor the delightful taste of chocolate by treating yourself to a glass of chocolate with ginjinha or indulging in the heavenly bombocas—a delectable combination of chocolate and marshmallows.
Don’t miss out on this extraordinary chocolate experience. Book your tour now and join us in celebrating the irresistible allure of chocolate at the Obidos Chocolate Festival!
Check out these popular recipes:
- Bifana – Portuguese Pork Sandwich
- Portuguese Steak Recipes
- Portuguese Custard Tarts
- Piri Piri Chicken
- Seafood Rice
Is chocolate good for humans? Is it good for your health?
Indulging in dark chocolate not only satisfies your sweet tooth but also offers several health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, it contributes to lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of clotting. Dark chocolate promotes better blood circulation to the heart, supporting cardiovascular health. Moreover, cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains essential minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium, which are beneficial for the body. So go ahead, savor a piece of dark chocolate guilt-free, and enjoy the potential health advantages it brings!
How much chocolate can you eat a day?
When it comes to enjoying chocolate, moderation is key. Experts suggest consuming around 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60g of chocolate per day. This portion size allows you to relish the delectable flavors without overindulging. By sticking to a reasonable amount, you can fully savor the pleasure of chocolate while maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. So, savor your chocolate treat mindfully and embrace the joy it brings in controlled portions.