All around the world lovers of chocolate regularly get together at festivals to celebrate, taste and enjoy the delights of one of life’s sweetest luxuries. So, if you are salivating at the thought, why not pencil a visit in to one of our picks for the best Chocolate festivals?
Eurochocolate – Perugia, Italy
Savour the delights of Europe in October with a visit to Perugia in Italy, and enjoy their annual Chocoday. Join more than 1 million other tourists and native Italians in this beautiful medieval hill town, the capital of Umbria right in the centre of Italy. The event spans the squares and streets of Piazza Italia, Piazza della Repubblica, Corso Vannucci, Via Mazzini, Via Fani and the terrace of the Covered Marke. You will find brands such as Italy’s own Perugina (now owned by Nestle), Lindt and Caffarel. 2013 celebrates 20 years of the festival.
Look out for a Chococard, and you can go around getting plenty of free samples.
You may come across a ChocoKebab store, and also the odd fine cheese store and “GROM” (one of the best Gelato’s ever (Pear and Dark Chocolate is delicious)! You can look round chocolate art displays, chocolate sculpting and chocolate souvenirs. There are also shows and performances based on chocolate, didactic labs for adults, entertainment, conferences and exhibitions.
After the exhibition, take a tour of the Perugina chocolate factory. Once you’ve done this, why not stop at Caffe di Perugia at Via Mazzini 10 (they are open noon-3pm and 7pm – midnight Wednesday to Monday) and enjoy the atmosphere of the people filled squares.
The Chocolate Festival – UK
The Chocolate festival spans 4 different locations across the UK – London, Brighton, Bristol and Oxford.
At the London festival on the South Bank in March, there’s the chance to enjoy Valhrona Afternoon Tea, to make your own perfect chocolate bar, to discover how to make cocoa butter beauty products, and to enjoy a bowl of southern chocolate chilli. Visitors can also meet head chefs and professional chocolate makers, and participate in workshops and classes.
There are also similar experiences to be had at Brighton’s New Road location (opposite the Royal Pavilion) and Oxford’s Broad Street location – both in March, and Bristol later in the spring.
The exhibitors include “Churros Garcia” (a small family run business who started over 40 years ago) where you can try chocolate covered Churros (a traditional Spanish breakfast), and also “Burley Fudge” who produce handmade confectionery in the New Forest (a national park in the UK).
Chocolate Fest – Canada
For Canucks who cannot live without chocolate, be sure to pop along to the “Chocolate Fest” held in St. Stephen, New Brunswick in August.
This event has been held each year for over 29 years, and in 2000 St. Stephen was officially named as “Canada’s Chocolate town”.
When you are there, make sure you are ready to indulge your passions and tempt your taste buds with some of the finest chocolate made by Canadian chocolate manufacturers such as Ganong (Canada’s chocolate family). While you are there be sure to check out their two events – “Chocolate Mania” and “Taste Of Chocolate”.
Lunch will be chocolate themed (of course!). Indulge your senses with ‘Choctails’ or Wine & Chocolate. Craft your own chocolate, and inspire yourself to become the next big thing! At the same time be sure to look out for their friendly mascots, Chocolate Mousse and his elegant wife Tiffany!
Choco-late – Belgium
Head off out to Belfort in Brugge (Belgium), for the “Choco-Late” Festival held each year in November, and sample their amazing chocolate museum, taste lashings of free samples and learn to paint with, er, chocolate of course (for the kids!).
There are workshops for you to try your hand at chocolate making, and get to meet passionate Chocolatiers creating new and exciting flavour combinations.
There’s also a chocolate beverage bar to indulge in chocolate beverages, as well as “living” chocolate statues – beautiful women decorated in chocolate. You’ll also find chocolate tigers and princesses, and you can meet the artists who took it upon themselves to patiently create amazing choco-magic drawings on the living chocolate statues.
Sample some of the most amazing mind-bogglingly jaw dropping chocolate creations you will ever discover, as chocolate artists present their most imaginative creations. You may also get to meet Freddy DeWaele, who conjures up odd shapes in bricks of chocolate. There’s also a Kidsvillage, demonstrations, fashion and shops.
The Chocolate Show – New York, USA
Held each year in November, The New York Chocolate Show is the largest chocolate festival in North America.
You get to enjoy all manner of chocolate related events that include an elaborate chocolate fashion show, a kids chocolate zone, cooking demonstrations, chocolate sampling (the bit that we all love!), and also book signings by professional chocolatiers.
Along with over 15,000 other visitors, you can view over 4000 square meters of chocolate filled delights and exhibitions. Meet some of the world’s most famous pastry chefs and finest chocolatiers.