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My farthest memory as a child takes me back to when I was still about five, and my dad would bring home some chocolates. Once, I forgot to bring the chocolates he gave me to school, and while at school, it made me so anxious to have a bite especially gazing upon a classmate opening her Toblerone bar. Getting a glimpse of her enjoying eating her chocolate, I started to drool inside my mouth, like a bone-deprived puppy! And there was this other classmate who turned out to also be one big chocolate lover like me! He tried asking her to give him a piece but my classmate refused! When she turned around for a while, he went to her seat, discreetly opened her lunch box and took some. That day I knew what surprising effects chocolates can have on anyone!

It is so unimaginable that one can become a thieving criminal for the love and passion for chocolates. Though I understand how a chocolate lover feels towards these sweet and delightful delicacies of goodness, I cannot bear to imagine that it can go as far as stealing. Or maybe it was just part of being a child. One thing though that became crystal clear to me now is, never deprive someone of what they so love. And never to keep chocolate lovers from away from them!

As a chocolate when I was a child, I grew up into an adult still enjoying hat passion for chocolates. When I buy them, it is as if there will be no next time.
Today, I keep stocks of chocolates on my fridge and even have chocolate luncheons with my friends once a month. When one of my friends arrived from Europe a few months ago, he gave me boxes of chocolates from Italy, France and Belgium. Too bad, his trip didn't include Switzerland, because if here is one brand of chocolates I truly really love, it's Lindtt from Switzerland!

With each chocolate, I carefully unwrapped one chocolate at a time, with each chocolate wrapped in intricately designed chocolate box; my eyes feasted on the beautiful bite-size pieces. It was almost painful to take a bite because they were so beautiful and they liked so good all jammed up in my fridge. I guess the chocolate lover in me has quite turned me into the chocolate monster hat I am now.

Now, my interests in chocolates have drifted to liking gourmet chocolates. I am particularly interested about how they are made; the best variations they offer, and of course, the best makers there are. And here is a list of the famous
gourmet chocolate shops all over the world where you will meet the best chocolate makers and get to mingle with fellow chocoholics like us!

La Maison du Chocolat– Paris, France
Robert Linxe opened La Maison du Chocolat in 1977 and now it has several shops in the romantic city of Paris. He was often called "ganache-magician" as he uses bitter-sweet chocolate, about 65% cocoa and specializes in mendiants, ganaches, fruity bars and truffles.

Geneva, Switzerland - Arn Chocolaterie

Forget the Alps! If you eat anything from Arn Chocolaterie it would be like you are floating way above the snowy mountains of Switzerland. Experience being served an array of coffee and tea with their specialty of champagne truffles.

Escriba –Barcelona, Spain

It is but fit to find one of the best hot chocolates in Barcelona. Anyway, it is the first country that ever developed chocolates. Barcelona is lucky to have Escriba, a humble chocolate shop opened in the 1900's by a coal worker. People who have experienced the luscious goodness of hot chocolate in Escriba can only sip in silent awe because it is just so unlike any other. But apart from their mouth-watering hot choco, they also have a wide selection of desserts you can choose from!

Neuhaus– Vlezenbeek, Belgium

Neuhaus has been around for 150 years and its popularity has never waned. They now have an online store which will delightfully deliver their best Belgian chocolates right in front of your doorstep. But why do that when you can visit Vlezenbeek and enjoy magical sceneries while indulging in chewy chocolate delights?

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates– Massachusetts, USA

Situated at the very heart of Harvard University, the chocolate café is a haven to chocolate lovers in this part of the East Coast. Aside from the Cambridge store, they also have one in Walpole, NH which also serves main courses.

New York, USA – Marie Belle
The beautiful pieces of chocolates from Marie Belle is so perfect, it is painful to even have a bite. But you will be surprised as to how much better they are when you eat them than when you simply look at them!

Melt– London, England
Try checking out Melt, a store in Nothing Hill, not just because of the instant popularity the town owes to Julia Roberts but because of their own hotly served great chocolates at very affordable prices. And just like the name of the store, their chocolates promise to melt in your mouth with the finest tang you will ever experience! These are all the seven heavens in my life being a choco lover! I wish I could go visit many more gourmet chocolate shops in the future!

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