There are few foods that people feel as passionate about, a passion that goes beyond a love for the “sweetness” of most desserts: it can be sweet or bitter, but can also be velvety or spicy..we are talking about chocolate! From Central and South America the cocoa tree spread the world arriving to Italy and the province of Lecco and Valtellina have a big tradition of chocolate.

Lake Como’s black gold

Lombardy has its own chocolate factory called Icam.The company was set up in a Valtellina village in the second postwar period and is now an ambassador worldwide for Italian outstanding quality in the art of chocolate making. The company’s founder started off in a small workshop in Morbegno. then moved to Lecco and began producing chocolate in its small factory there. ICAM chocolate is the fruit of the passion handed down through the generations of the Agostoni family, virtuosos of a genuine Italian-crafted chocolate culture. If you happen to be in the area, you can visit the Icam chocoutlet (Pescarenico (LC) in Via Pescatori 53), where you can taste and buy all sorts of chocolates.

ChocoAlpi, the sweet heart of Valtellina

Chocolate lovers have to stop when approaching Valtellina spotting the sign for Choco Alpi on (the main road), the artisan chocolate factory that has been working for over ten years exclusivly on pure chocolate, without adding vegetable fats other than cocoa butter. Here you can buy all sorts of fine artisan handmade chocolates, praline drageés with coated walnuts, almonds, currants, dried fruit etc, with exotic flavours, but also with traditional alpin flavours and tablets of fin chocolates.

Here are two appointments for the upcoming winter season:
Strade di Cioccolato, a Sondalo (SO), a walking route with several stops with final lottery where visitors buy a mug with the entry ticket and taste hot chocolate and sweets and cakes, and are entertained by live music and shows for children.
Chocolate Curt instead is a charity initiative that takes place in Ponte in Valtellina (SO) an itinerary of Fairtrade chocolate tasting.

Chocolate at EXPO MILANO 2015

You can learn about the secrets of cocoa at Expo2015. Visitors to Expo’s Cocoa Cluster will feel like they are taking a walk through a jungle of cacao trees as they learn about the history of cocoa, its many uses, the important role it plays for the countries that produce it and how it has come to symbolize energy, fertility and life. And at the end they will be able to taste different qualities of chocolate of all sorts and from all over the world!

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