EVENTS: Izmir Chocolate Festival
In the past, Turkey hasn’t been known for having the most decadent desserts outside of their amazing baklava and ‘Sorbet/Syrup’ desserts(basically sweet treats soaked in a simple syrup). And to continue that, chocolate in any form isn’t high on anyone’s priority list. In fact, I read that the average Turk consumes less than a kilo of chocolate a year whereas the average German can consume up to 7 kilos per year. But, similar to the rising popularity of specialized coffee, the chocolate scene is slowly starting to make waves. The times are changing folks.
So, needless to say, when Izmir held it’s first annual (and long anticipated) local Chocolate Festival at the La Vie Nouvelle venue on March 31 – April 2… I had to go! The same organizers, Next Organization and Ateş Prodüksiyon, of private festivals such as the Izmir Coffee Festival back in October 2016 also organized the Izmir Chocolate Festival.
The festival was well planned with many booths representing mostly chocolate or dessert companies, but there were several other small businesses stands as well to give the guests some diversity. We found coffee, chocolate crepes, truffles, ice cream, and a beautiful chocolate fountain that you could dip your fruit into. Along with purchasing items from the businesses (or free sampling at some of the more generous booths), the festival offered workshops for both adults and kids and held seminars on different topics related to chocolate like ‘Health and Chocolate’.
If you got tired from all the sugar you enjoyed, you could sit and enjoy the view of the bay since the venue was right on the water. And there was always a DJ providing music in the background. We happened to be there while they were teaching the crowd how to do some type of line dancing and then some salsa dancing.
If the adults weren’t enjoying the music, the kids would. The kids were allowed up on the stage to dance and play at different times. Even though the venue was too crowded, the event was super family friendly.
Overall, I think the festival was worth going to! I will leave you with 3 thoughts. Firstly, while it was a fun time, I am not sure it was worth 2 full price tickets. Fortunately for us, the festival offered a buy one, get one free promotion back in February. Secondly, although the time we went was super lively and hopping, I wish we would have gone on the first day early in the morning because well… less crowded… more food to sample/try… and just easier to have a conversation with people. Lastly, I so wish I would have signed up for a workshop! I would have loved learning alongside others how to make truffles or a Nutella praline, just to name a couple!
Questions for the readers:
Would you go to a Chocolate Festival near you? Have you been to one before?
What is your favorite chocolate treat?