Hi all! I’m back after a pretty long absence…sorry! I sort of liken it to the fact I was hibernating for a long time…But anyhow, I am back and I promise lots more of interesting content to come! I could talk a bit more about being busy, work…etc, but we all know that would be a bore! So onwards to a delicious post!
I’m currently back home in Europe for Christmas and so far my experience revolves around snow and consuming extensive amounts of delicious ‘wintry’ teas, mulled wine, local delicacies and unsurprisingly (if you know me) chocolate…
The place I’m at for the week had a local few days of Chocolate celebration, and of course being the glutton I am I hurried down to attend…It was a pretty crowded event and consisted of renowned local chefs offering free chocolate delights, ranging from devilish chocolate cake slices and pure chocolate balls to hot chocolate in a range of diverse and mouth-watering concoctions. (E.g. Lavender and honey ?!) Unsurprisingly crowded, the section of the event I visited was held at a semi-professional photography exhibition, perfect for trying the chocolate while appreciating the lovely wildlife and landscape photography….A feast for two senses all in all!
Brief introduction to the History of Chocolate:
Chocolate’s origins can be traced back to the mesoamerican civilisations of the Aztecs & Mayans (not sure about the Incas) – The cacao plant was notable in both Mayan and Aztec civilisations – whilst it was rarer in the Aztec civilisation due to limitations mainly concerning climate (therefore gained cocoa from trade/spoils of war) the cocoa plant was so highly prized there that cocoa beans were used as currency! Within both civilisations a beverage created from the cocoa plant served a religious ceremonial purpose but also a extravagant beverage of choice for the wealthy..
This beverage differed from the sweet taste we associate chocolate with – it was rather, a bitter, frothy concoction.
When the cocoa plant was introduced to Europe, the spanish created a cocoa powder – this gained popularity Europe – the chocolate we know today, the bars and chocolate milk came when the cocoa plants and their powders were further experimented with and mixed with sugar and milk -In 1847 Fry & Sons of Bristol by mixing Sugar with Cocoa Powder and Cocoa Butter produced the first solid chocolate bar. Later in 1875 Swiss manufacturer Daniel Peters combined cocoa powder and cocoa butter with sugar then dried milk powder and voila! – He produced the first milk chocolate!
Chocolate Celebrations Around the World
The site above has more detailed explanations and links to each respective festivals website, but I just posted the countries and celebration and a few pictures just to offer a quick introduction to the love of Chocolate worldwide! All these events are on my To Experiance list and once I visit them I’ll be sure to write a detailed review post! Have you been to any of these? If you have feel free to share your experience in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!
Chocolate Show – New York USA
In general, it seems to show unique and creative uses for Chocolate ranging from Chocolate fashion and art sculptures to live demonstrations by chocolatiers! It offers also a kid-zone and a ‘Chocolate Beauty Pavilion’ (lotions, cosmetics and CHOCOLATE MASSAGES! In addition to that all, there are unsurprisingly delicious gourmet chocolate treats to try and tantalize your taste-buds with! For example have you heard of Chocolate Wine!? With all this info, I’m currently inclined to immediately book a plane ticket to New York for next year…
Yet for something closer to home, I also discovered luckily from from the wonderful blog Journeys Near and Far that there is an international schedule:
Hopefully, if one of these locations is near you! I’ve got my eye on the Spain event, considering it’s closer and consequently more affordable than the Big Apple…also time-wise, it’s shorter luckily!
JAPAN: January- February, 2010
Shanghai, CHINA: January15-17, 2010
Madrid, SPAIN: April 9-11, 2010
Eurochocolate: Umbria, Italy
Taking place in Perugia, this is one of the largest chocolate festivals amassing yearly almost 1 million excited chocolate lovers both locals, and tourists! The event includes cooking classes, live entertainment, live chocolate sculpting, art… and of course tasting!
Choco-Late Festival: Brugge, Belgium
Offers art & sculptures but unlike the two above also offers a Chocolate museum and the chance to paint with chocolate for kids and even professional chocolate body painting!
I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process…. It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance? – Chocolate Day Quotes
Now…as you can undoubtedly see from this post, I adore chocolate… My favorite chocolates are pretty much all the Lindt Chocolate and I’m a lover of both dark and milk chocolate, and combinations involving flavours like hazelnuts & cherries…and of course my ultimate favorite chocolate and lifelong addiction – Ferrero Rocher!
Your turn! Do you love chocolate? Or maybe you don’t? If so, the please share why! I’m incredibly curious..
If you are a fellow chocoholic, what sort of chocolate do you adore? Dark or milk? Plain or flavoured? Are you a Classic Cadbury? A Lady Godiva fan? A Toblerone follower? Or maybe a Ferror Rocher addict?
A fairly gluttonous topic, but hey tis the season for Joy!