|A cake from the Norman, OK Chocolate Festival|
A longtime journalist, Kay Harwell Fernandez is a freelance travel writer who has visited 56 countries--and counting. She has been published in international, national and regional magazines, newspapers and webzines. She has written two travel-related e-books and contributed to five National Geographic books. She's also working on a cozy mystery and historical suspense. Learn more about Kay here.
I readily admit that I am a chocoholic. My love for chocolate dates to early childhood. My mother made extraordinary chocolate cream pie (I took off the meringue), Devil's Food cake with fudge frosting, chocolate pudding, creamy hot cocoa, and scrumptious German Chocolate Cake. All from scratch. Also, I looked for any excuse to drown whatever food item I could in chocolate syrup.
Naturally, my favorite episode of I Love Lucy was the one with Lucy and Ethel stuffing their mouths with chocolates during the candy factory production line. One Christmas I asked Santa Claus for a gigantic Tootsie Roll (about 2 feet tall). A true chocoholic.
Over the years, my passion for chocolate has not diminished, although moderation is now the key.
As a travel writer and a consumer, I often sought out chocolate-related places during my travels. I have relished such experiences as the sleek and comprehensive Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany, the fun attraction Cadbury World near Birmingham, England, the delectable chocolate festival in Norman, Oklahoma, the chocolate factory tour at Angell & Phelps in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Swiss Chocolate Train out of Montreux, Switzerland and the amazing Salon Du Chocolat in Paris. At Salon Du Chocolate, I watched top pastry chefs from all over the world compete and was awestruck at the dozens of gowns fashioned out of chocolate.
A chocolate treatment at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey found me basking in bliss. Enjoying chocolate in its purest form is a delight from bean-to-bar artisans such as Theo in Seattle and Soma in Toronto. Hmmm!
For almost a decade, I have been amassing stacks and stacks of materials and research on chocolate. I have written numerous chocolate-related feature articles and have been interviewed on radio, podcasts, and for newspaper and web stories.
Writing a book seemed to be a given. In my e-book Have Chocolate, Will Travel--An Enticing Journey to All Things Chocolate, my aim was to share some of my chocolate travels and compilation of information with readers and armchair travelers. The book covers attractions, bean-to-bar artisans, cafes and bars, cruises, factory tours, festivals, hotels, museums, spas, special events, tours and trails. All drenched in chocolate. Yummy photos of chocolate round out the pages.
Have Chocolate, Will Travel--An Enticing Journey to All Things Chocolate
Have Chocolate, Will Travel takes readers and armchair travelers on an enticing world journey to chocolate festivals, museums, factory tours, cafes, trails, tours, spas, attractions, bean-to-bar chocolatiers and other chocolate-themed travel. Each spot exudes a whiff of chocolate. It’s not only a travel experience, but a sensory one as well.