Chocolate Festivals Around The World

At my house, every day is a chocolate festival.  At some point in the day, every day without fail, some chocolate makes its way into my mouth.  I love the stuff and the simpler the better, plain dark chocolate is my favorite.  I like to buy the big baking bars and smack them with a hammer until they splinter into chunks, wedges and slivers.  I hadn’t considered the idea of a chocolate festival until I began researching for this story, but now I have added several to my bucket list!

The idea to create a chocolate festival originated in Perugia, Italy in 1993, when local pastry shops and restaurants got together to celebrate quality chocolate and show off their creations.  Since then, festivals have popped up all over the world.  Following is information on several of them.

The Chocolate Festival of Linkoping, Sweden

Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, the event is bound to be the best ever.  About 50 exhibitors display cakes, pastries and chocolate creations.  Visitors can sample and buy to take home.  There are seminars so visitors can learn about the health benefits of chocolate and recipes so they can recreate some of the delicacies at home.  There are complimentary beverages served that help bring out the flavors of the chocolate.

Choco-la-vita – The Indian Chocolate Festival

This year in October, the festival is being held in five cities, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore.  Featuring some of the world’s foremost names in the chocolate industry including Guinness World Record holder Mirco Della Vecchia, this festival promises to satisfy chocoholics.  Visitors will enjoy cooking demonstrations and sampling as well as a chance to meet top pastry chefs.

International Chocolate Festival, Obidos, Portugal

Every year in March this pretty medieval town in Portugal, just an hour north of Lisbon, is descended upon by 200,000 chocoholics.  This year they celebrated their tenth anniversary with the theme of Disneyland Paris.  Within the walls of the old castle, all forms of chocolate are available to be sampled and purchased.  Local restaurants join in the festivities by offering special menu items.

Chocolate Fest, St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Named the chocolate capital of Canada, St. Stephen is also home to the Ganong Brothers chocolate company, Canada’s oldest candy company, founded in 1873.  This week long August festival is family friendly, offering treasure hunts, a chocolate pudding eating contest, a parade, a chocolate brunch, a blindfold taste test, and choctail hour for the grown ups.  Chocolate Fest was established in 1984.

Eurochocolate, Perugia, Italy

This festival in the Umbria region of Italy is considered to be the largest in the world, enticing over half a million people every October.  Established in 1994, the nine day festival offers visitors a chance to attend cooking classes and chocolate tasting, as well as enjoy live entertainment.  A highlight is the very impressive chocolate sculpting exhibitions, which in the past have included an igloo built from 3600 kilos of chocolate bricks.  In 2003, a 7 meter long, 2 meter high chocolate bar was created, using 5980 kilos of chocolate.

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