Chocolate is no longer melting. Professionals are back at work, and the holiday season is close. This is why the months of October and November happen to be the two months of the year that are usually packed with chocolate-themed festivals, fairs, and events from all over the world.
The Salon du Chocolat in Paris to the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle From CHOCOMAD in Zaragoza up towards The Indian Craft Chocolate Festival in Bangalore The fall season is the ideal time for chocolaty lovers to experience weekends of fun learning, education, and appreciation of their favorite food. In Italy, chocolate lovers can have their big festival each year, held in Perugia, The Europechocolate show.
A crowded corridor to Eurochocolate located in Perugia, Italy
In 1994, Eurochocolate was the largest chocolate festival in Italy over the last three years. It is a feast of mouthwatering booths, cooking shows, and chocolate-themed activities. The Italian event has always provided a fun-filled hub for couples, families, friends, and everyone with a sweet tooth to indulge in a few days of chocolate. But, there was something distinct this year.
It was not expected by anyone that Eurochocolate would be an exciting destination for cacao sommeliers and chocolatiers, producers, bean-to-bar experts, and gourmets.
It was held on October 14 – 23, 2022, at Umbriafiere; Eurochocolate showed a strong commitment to raising the bar of chocolate to greater levels of understanding, education, and respect for participants. Let’s look at how they accomplished it.
Worldwide bean-to-bar EXHIBITORS
EUROCHOCOLATE is a real heaven for chocolate lovers with sweet additions, vibrant creations, delicious chocolate-covered combinations, and more. The 2022 edition, however, offered numerous options for those seeking more exquisite tastes and refined horizons.
While most exhibits showed industrial chocolate (made out of cacao and sold in kilograms), the craft bean-to-bar chocolate was given its space to shine in a designated section called the Eurochocolate World Space. it was not hidden away in a corner or behind the event, but right at the doorway, visitors could stroll into the crème de la crème of the finest chocolate world. International brands were lined up close to each other to present a variety of premium flavor chocolate, bean-to-bar traceable, and ethically sourced chocolates that stood distinct from the other exhibits.
A dozen countries were represented, including the Dominican Republic with Definite Chocolate, Colombia with Color Cacao and Cacao Disidente Ecuador as well as Kacau Chocolate, the Philippines with Auro Chocolate, and many more!
This area opened up the conversation with regular attendees on cacao’s origins and the endless flavor options of craft bean-to-bar chocolate. The products that were showcased in this section were priced higher as compared to the chocolate that was featured in the other areas of the exhibit. Only a handful of Italian customers appeared willing to pay the above-average costs for chocolate.
While they were awestruck by the prices, the attendees were equally curious and enticed by the luxurious wrappers, exotic origins, and delicate flavor. They acknowledged that this chocolate was unlike anything they’d ever had, generating hopes that the future would be better chocolates.
A lot of chocolate festivals across the globe are devoted to educating consumers about chocolate by offering workshops, presentations, and tastings scheduled into their events. However, no festival has created a full itinerary for humans, from cacao seeds to finished chocolate.
Entrance to the Tree-to-Bar Space
The Tree-to-Bar Space comprised an entirely separate, closed space that resembled the inside of a museum but was far more lively and engaging. Visitors could stroll through authentically-created cacao trees while immersed in other species’ diverse ecosystems. The most impressive was the huge replica of a cacao pod that emerged from the tree (that instantly became a popular location to take pictures).
The route continued to display the faithful replicas of a fermenting station, complete that included the traditional wooden boxes and a drying center with high wooden benches. Participants were provided with in-depth explanations of the vital role these processes play in making chocolate.
The reproduction of the cacao drying facility
An actual cargo vessel, inside which the cacao bags of yuta are usually packed and ready to be transported across borders, is the bridge that connects the cacao production to the beans-to-bar processes. The aroma of chocolate brought guests to a tiny but fully-equipped chocolate factory run by the renowned Italian chocolate machine manufacturer FBM Boscolo. The actual chocolate makers were observed sifting through the cacao beans, roasting, conching, and winnowing the chocolate bars waiting to sell at the counter at the program’s conclusion.
Access to the cargo container that leads towards the factory of chocolate
FBM Boscolo chocolate factory demo
Self-proclaimed “chocolate lovers” among the general population don’t always know about the processes outside of the chocolate product, and this space was essential to inform people. Many sat and read bits of cacao’s past, while others put into the cacao-dried beans in the dry station. Many snapped photos with the huge cacao pod or an image of Aztec Montezuma, the Aztec emperor. They all stepped into the chocolate factory in the space of 5 minutes.
The space museum will stay in the minds of visitors more than any image or video ever could.
Additionally, experiencing the entire tree-to-bar experience helped attendees get a good foundation to understand the more detailed sessions planned during the event.
talks about craft chocolate and CACAO’s ORIGINS
In addition to cooking shows, book presentations, tasty tastings, and interactive experiences in chocolate, most of the time was dedicated to explaining chocolate on a more in-depth, more convincing level. The performers were well-known names in the craft bean-to-bar chocolate industry. They were ready to awe the audience with unique chocolate-related topics such as single-origin cacao drying and fermentation, aromatic profiles, and more.