Let’s Begin Our Tour of International Chocolate Festivals!
America loves chocolate. In fact, we love it so much that as a country, we gobble up about ½ of the world’s total production of the sweet stuff each year! White, milk and dark, all presented in ways and pairings to excite even the most jaded taste buds, you can find them at chocolate festivals around the globe. Get your passport ready, because after you read about the five most decadent international chocolate festivals, you’ll be calling your travel agent and making vacation plans!
Head to Australia – Chocolate Winterfest
The Land Down Under hosts Chocolate Winterfest in the city of Latrobe, located on the island of Tasmania. It doesn’t get any more exotic than this for Yanks; Chocolate Winterfest does exotic chocolate unmatched anywhere. In previous years, Chocolate Winterfest has featured world-renowned chocolatiers, tastings, classes, chocolate hand scrubs and even living chocolate statues! This family-friendly event offers something for everyone from the youngest child to the most refined connoisseur and every taste in between. Also, the live music, costumes, gymnasts, and surprises are sure to delight all ages. The 2016 Chocolate Winterfest schedule goes live on July 7th, 2016, also known as World Chocolate Day!
Up to Belgium – Bruges Choco-Laté Festival
Bruges, Belgium is the home of the ancient Belfort Museum and Belfry, regarded as “the most important” of Bruges’ many towers. The Belfort Museum, in turn, plays host to the Choco-Laté Festival for four days each year on a sliding schedule. While working your way through the museum, you can learn about the history of Belgian chocolate, widely regarded as the finest in the world. You can indulge your cravings with tastings from vendors all over the planet who fill the tower chock full of chocolate! This festival is more than just a treat for your tongue. Chocolate-themed and inspired art, fashion and even music abound as chocolate artisans, sculptors, chefs and designers from the Cote d’Ivoire to the Philippines come together to share their passion in the undisputed world’s capital of chocolate. The Choco-Laté Festival occurs annually on a sliding schedule.
Onward to Italy – EuroChocolate International Chocolate Exhibition
Italy is widely known as a land of romance, fine wine, Mediterranean climates and…chocolate? That’s right; Italy hosts the EuroChocolate International Chocolate Exhibition each year. This year, the Exhibition coincides with the 30th anniversary of the world-renowned Todi Festival, featuring performing artists from all over the world. See master chocolatiers plying their trade, get your fill of chocolate from makers around the globe and then indulge your senses with cabaret, opera, and other live performances. This eight-day feast for the senses will satisfy your sweet tooth, your artistic sensibilities and your desire to fall in love again! The Todi Festival runs from August 27th to September 4th, so dust off your passport, bring your lover and renew your passion for chocolate!
Hop to France – La Salon du Chocolat
If Italy is a place for romance, Paris is hands-down the world capital for love of all kinds…and chocolate is no exception! La Salon du Chocolat is entering its 22nd year, featuring classes, conferences, and convocations on all things chocolate, from supply to creation you can enjoy it all while it melts in your mouth. Featuring world-class chefs, confectioners and chocolate artists set against the romantic backdrop of the City of Light. A great event for picking up recipes, pointers, tips, tricks and tactics from some of the most renowned names in the chocolate and candy industry. Why not celebrate Halloween and the Feast of All Saints by feasting on everyone’s favorite sweet tooth tamer and have the opportunity to use that high school French, you never thought you’d need?
Back to the U.S. – Las Vegas – Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show
What happens in Vegas can come home in your suitcase! Sin City is known for entertainment and decadent indulgence. What better place than the Sin City for a Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show? This one-of-a-kind event brings together celebrity chefs you’ve seen on Food Network and elsewhere, top chocolatiers and pastry professionals for a single evening of dessert in the desert. Even better, the event benefits the Nevada Ballet Theater, giving you a unique opportunity to add “patron of the arts” to your resume while sampling some of the most delectable treats available on this side of the Atlantic. Paired with fine wines and spirits from around the world, this may be the best excuse you’ve ever had to try out the old saying: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! This festival runs at the beginning of April, so if you missed it this year, mark your calendar and book your plane tickets for next year.
Whether you want to go to an exotic locale, stroll the Champs Elysee or bask in the neon glow of the Vegas lights, the best reason in the world is chocolate! These international chocolate festivals offer something unique to every visitor, from local color and cultural enrichment to a great reason to get another stamp on your passport or take that vacation you’ve always dreamed of. If you have any other suggestions for festivals that should be on the wish list, or that you’ve attended in the past and had a delicious, fun time, we’d love to hear all about it. Please leave us a comment, and encourage your friends to share as well. After all, these unique and wild festivals prove that love (of chocolate) does make the world go ‘round!
Also published on Medium.