Chocolate is the favourite treat of people all around the world. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, we eat over 3 million tons of cocoa beans a year. It’s not only a fantastic mood booster for us, though. Chocolate has a lot of medicinal benefits. Scientists proved that our favourite treat improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces stroke risk because it thins the blood.
The history of chocolate started in Mesoamerica around 1250 BC. Aztecs were brewing it, usually for ceremonial occasions, most commonly weddings. It’s worth to know that Aztecs were using chocolate as a currency at the peak of their civilization decelopement. Later Spanish friars brought chocolate home, and then chocolate popularity spread all over Europe.
When you think about the country that makes the best chocolate, you probably picture Switzerland. Swiss chocolate is, in fact, delicious, and people all around the world know the most famous Lindt brand. Swiss consume the most chocolate per capita – on average, they eat more than 10 kg of chocolate every year. But obviously, people from other countries love chocolate not less than Swiss people. The affection is so big that chocolate lovers all over Europe started to set chocolate festivals. They are extremely popular, and some of them host hundreds of thousands of people!
Here is a list of the 5 most attractive chocolate festivals in Europe:
1. Eurochocolate – Umbria, Italy
It is the most celebrated chocolate festival in the world. Every October, over 500,000 chocolate lovers visit the city of Umbria located in central Italy to enjoy the largest chocolate event. It was first organized in 1994, and with every year it’s becoming more and more popular. In the course of this festival, you will have plenty of things to do! Attend to the cooking classes, taste the chocolate, admire an unforgettable chocolate sculpting event and learn more about cocoa-producing countries’ traditions and habits. The event lasts 10 days and is free. There are no fees, no tickets so you shouldn’t miss the opportunity and visit Eurochocolate festival if you have a chance.
2. Choco-late – Brugge, Belgium
Belgium is the second biggest chocolate exporter in the world. Chocolate is one of the most common things that associated with this country. If you have a chance to visit Belgium, you have to attend Choco-late festival at Belfort Museum. This 4-day long event is a feast of Belgian chocolate and its chocolatiers. Festival is an opportunity to see unforgettable chocolate statues and exhibitions. You’ll learn some interesting facts from the history of chocolate and the process of its procesing. And of course, you can try out samples of the best Belgian chocolate. Make sure not to miss this festival!
3. ChocolART – Tübingen, Germany
Every December, thousands of tourists visit Tubingen town because of ChocolART festival – the greatest chocolate festival in Germany. During that time world-best chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers are presenting the most delicious kinds of chocolate, offer workshops and praline courses and show the most beautiful chocolate art. Guests have a chance to taste numerous samples of their favourite treat during 5 days of the chocolate feast. Combined with the beautiful town’s Christmas market and its magical atmosphere, ChocolART will stay in your memories forever!
4. Chocolate Week – London, United Kingdom
This festival is held in London and is not only one of the best chocolate festival in Europe but also in the world. Country top chocolatiers and companies celebrate the day by demonstrations, tastings, hosting talks and creating exclusive products. The festival aims to promote chocolate and encourage visitors to pay cocoa farmers a fair price for their hard and creative work. Event is the nation’s favourite themed week, attract both Britishers and numerous chocolate lovers from all over the world.
5. Le Salon du Chocolat – Paris, France
From 30 October to 3 November, together with over 100,000 chocolate enthusiasts, you have a chance to see the unique chocolate festival. It combines two things that France loves the most – chocolate and fashion. This unforgettable event draws over 500 manufacturers from 60 countries. It is an event that every chocolate lover has to attend. Among numerous attractions, you will have a chance to admire chocolate sculptures and exhibitions, see live performances by cocoa-producing countries. One of the biggest attraction is, of course, The Chocolate Fashion Show, featuring designs that are made only of chocolate. Thanks to the best chocolatier lectures and presentations, you’ll learn everything about the art of chocolate making.
Chocolate was and still is an essential part of people’s life. Visiting one of the above festivals will help you to experience the chocolate phenomenon better, expand your knowledge and give you that beloved feeling of indulgence.