Go on a sweet trek with Scotland's Chocolate Trail

Chocolate lovers: Eat your way across Scotland

Scotland has long been a destination for its Malt Whiskey Trail, where visitors can tour distilleries to watch the "water of life" being created.

In 2015, Scottish tourism officials are sweetening the deal with a Chocolate Trail, which will showcase more than five dozen independent and artisanal chocolatiers around the country. It's part of Scotland's Year of Food and Drink (visitscotland.com/en-us/about/food-drink), designed not only to display the nation's culinary high points but also to draw tourists to areas outside the big cities.

Visitors can get their chocolate fill with one stop in Edinburgh, where there are nearly a dozen participants. But that defeats the purpose of the trail. And if you do stick to big cities, you won't meet people like Sophie Latinis.

She is the owner of the Pittenweem Chocolate Co. in the tiny East Neuk village of Pittenweem. She said she was approached by industry representatives who organized the trail.

"We thought it was a fabulous idea and were delighted to get involved. It's a wonderful way to showcase the growing trend for making high-quality chocolate right here in Scotland."

Her shop sits on High Street, sharing space with the Cocoa Tree Cafe, both of which she started seven years ago. Latinis moved to the area 10 years ago and said that during her walks along the coast she was always on the lookout for a cafe to enjoy a hot chocolate.

"At the time, there was nothing that quite captured my imagination," she said. "Also, I was looking at potential ideas for opening a business, and eventually I decided to combine this gap in the market with my love of eating chocolate."

The shop now offers her handmade chocolates and artisan chocolates from around the world.

"Scotland has certainly been inspired by the high quality of chocolate-makers in Europe," she said. "We love Belgian chocolate, and eventually, as a nation, we've developed the confidence to make our own chocolate."

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