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Original Boston Chocolate Tour Returns

By: Kellie K. Speed, Travel Writer

The Old Town Trolley Tours has returned to Boston with its original chocolate tour.


Chocolate - Click to Enlarge

We jumped aboard the tour one Saturday for a three-hour narrated tour to some of the finest chocolate hot spots in town. 

Sheila, our tour guide, shared some interesting facts with us - tollhouse cookies were invented in Whitman, Mass.; the country's first chocolate factor (Bakers Chocolate) was located in Dorchester, Mass.; Hershey's Snickers is the best selling chocolate in the United States; and Hershey's also produces more than 33 million chocolate kisses each day.

Our first stop was to the Top of the Hub, situated 52 floors above the city. This restaurant is well known for being one of the most romantic destinations to pop the question. Its floor-to-ceiling windows provide a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Here, we sampled chocolate crème brulee and a chocolate brownie with ice cream, made specifically for the chocolate tour.

After approximately 40 minutes of viewing the city from one of the best restaurants in town, sampling the finest chocolate, we were on to our next stop - the Hampshire House. This townhouse at 84 Beacon Street was built for Ruth and Bayard Thayer. Its elaborate interior required years to complete and the end result included 22 Italian marble fireplaces, magnificent crystal chandeliers, hand-carved oak paneling, marble flooring throughout, two elevators and two staircases. Today, the townhouse has been renovated into a restaurant and place for corporate and social functions.

Executive Chef Markus Ripperger prepared his nationally acclaimed maple roasted almond and Swiss chocolate soup for us. Sound good? We thought the soup was heavenly and one of the best treats of the day. Chef Ripperger gave us the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 qt. Milk
10 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla extract or fresh vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup silvered almonds
1 tsp. Maple syrup
1 tsp. Each: amaretto, crème de cacao and Kahlua

Directions:

In a 4 qt. Saucepan, roast almonds until golden brown. Add the maple syrup. Add milk and vanilla and bring to a boil. Beat egg yolks and sugar. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat the soup just to the boiling point. Continue to cook slowly until it coats a wooden spoon. At this point, remove the soup from the heat. Stir in chocolate and cream. Add liqueurs. (Chef's Note: Never allow the soup to boil. Serve with your favorite cookie, biscotti or wafers. You can create your own soup by substituting the chocolate, almonds and liqueur for different nuts, fruits, coffee and liqueurs). 

Our final destination was to Le Meridien Hotel to sample the famous Chocolate Bar. The Chocolate Bar is open to the public - not just the trolley tour guests. With more than 25 offerings for the discerning chocoholic, the bar featured everything from chocolate éclairs and chocolate chip cookies to chocolate cheesecake and fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate.

A trip aboard the Chocolate Trolley Tour is a must-see for both visitors and residents of Boston. Fore more information and reservations, call 617-269-7150.

Original Boston Chocolate Tour
Historic Tours of America

Phone: 617-269-7150
Website: www.historictours.com

Departing: Every Saturday and Sunday, February 3 through April 1
Schedule: 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from Trolley Stop Store at the corner of Boylston and Charles Streets
Cost: $50 per person


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Kellie K. Speed - Click to Enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’ Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at kkspeed@aol.com.

 

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