It’s finally December and I’m loving it. The Christmas ornaments are out, the Christmas lights are on and everything looks simply magical. But that’s not what today’s post is about, it’s about something more edible.
Yesterday, my parents came to visit and we went to a Chocolate festival. It was 12th annual chocolate festival that is held in Opatija, a small town on Croatian part of the Adriatic coast. Opatija is famous for the health tourism, many wellness centres and luxurious hotels.
The festival is being held in one of the first hotels opened in Opatija, hotel “Kvarner”.
There were about 20 chocolate makers from 4 different countries displaying and selling their chocolate products.
The festival lasts for three days and it’s held on the first weekend of Advent. This year that was from 1st to 3rd of December and there’s no entrance fee, aka it’s free to come in and look around.
Some manufacturers sell small “statues” made of different kinds of chocolate. There were chocolate phones and iPads, chocolate heels, chocolate cigars and many more on one stand and all of them looked too good to be eaten. Some were selling different fruit dipped in chocolate or little pralines filled with some usual and some not some usual things to be combined with chocolate. For instance, there were figs covered in chocolate but there were also pralines with caramel, almonds but also with pizza and even with cannabis. I only ate one with lavender on it and wasn’t even interested in any crazier ones.
The moment you enter “The Crystal Hall” of the hotel where the chocolate is displayed, the smell of chocolate entangles you, to me, the smell of chocolate is like a drug. The first thing you see when you enter is a woman making a replica of a building from a block of chocolate. It looks like she’s carving wood or something but then you realise it’s chocolate and it looks amazing. That replica wasn’t for sale, it was just on display n a very long table.
On some stands, along with chocolates people were selling gingerbread houses, cake pops, cakes and even pasta made with chocolate and some other pastas made with different ingredients to make past a different colour (eg. squid ink, spinach, beetroot…). There was also a stand with Maya chocolate from Mexico and they had cocoa tea that’s made with broken cocoa shells that are left after taking the cocoa essence to make chocolate.
You could also buy a cup of hot chocolate in various places to warm you up since there was cold wind outside and the temperature was a bit above 0°C.
On one stand, a young man was making pralines in front of everyone and it looked exactly like those viral videos on Instagram. It was pure perfection.
A bit of a downside of it all was that you can’t try and chocolate unless you buy it and the prices are a bit on the higher side. But since there’s no entrance fee, I wasn’t really that surprised that we could only try chocolate without paying at one stand.
When it comes to pricing of chocolate creations, I understand that it takes time to make the chocolate and then to make that chocolate into a figure and I agree that you should charge for it but it’s not ok to overcharge it. And to tell you the truth, the most manufacturers were overcharging buyers for their products.
Since today was the last day of this years festival, I can’t tell you to visit it if you’re close so maybe you can plan a visit for the next year. Every year there’s more stands and more chocolate than the year before so next year, the festival will probably be bigger and better than this year. So if you live close (and even if you don’t) and would be interested in going to something like this then I would definitely recommend visiting the festival.
Until next Sunday, bye.
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