Forbes compiled a list of the best chocolate festivals that are worth visiting in 2011 ( World Travel )

Today, chocolate is one of the most popular products in the world, the demand for which has not fallen, even in times of economic crisis.Every year, the inhabitants of the planet spend on chocolate around $ 7 billion, and to buy it, in general, can be anyone.

But it was not always.Once in the XVI century scholar-monk Benzoni King of Spain presented a report on the beneficial properties of liquid chocolate, the recipe has been declared a state secret.For its violation of dozens of people were executed.For several centuries, chocolate was only available to the richest: the production was difficult, and the ingredients - very expensive.And only in the beginning of the XX century, a sharp reduction in price of sugar and cocoa to make chocolate affordable to everyone.

Day chocolate mark in the world on July 11th.But beyond that, almost every month in different parts of the world are chocolate festival, which lasts a few days and collected tens of thousands of visitors.

Forbes chose the 8 festivals in the

world, where the most delicious chocolate you can try.

1.Prazdnik chocolate in Hershey (USA)

Date: February 2011

Almost half of the chocolate consumed in the world is produced in the United States.A company for the production of the most popular in America chocolate bars in the small town of Hershey.By the way, the city in which today is held annually the famous chocolate festival, initially did not even exist, and there was only chocolate factory, around which later grew up residential neighborhoods, churches, shops, a bank and even a tram line.It happened with the light hand of Milton Hershey, whose perseverance allowed him a fourth time to establish their own chocolate production.He first had the idea to press the chocolate into tiles.

number of tourists coming every year for the Festival of chocolate in Hershey, higher than the number of the population of the town, which is home to a total of 13 000 people.Here chocolate lovers around the world can leisurely stroll through the Chocolate and Cocoa avenues, to live in a chocolate hotel, visit the park chocolate or chocolate spa facilities.In the latter, by the way, visitors are offered more than 100 different anti-aging treatments with dark and white chocolate.

2.Festival chocolate in London (United Kingdom)

Dates: from 8 to 10 April 2011

British love chocolate oatmeal or at least fish-and-chips.Two centuries ago, Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers ", wrote:" No chocolate - no breakfast "Today, the people of England chocolate eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, thus bringing it up to the consumption of 590 000 tons per year.

His climax eating biscuits, truffles and chocolates reaches the annual festival of chocolate, which is a few days transforms London into the chocolate capital of Europe.The venue of the festival is one of the largest art centers in the UK Southbank Centre.It attracts the best chocolatiers of the world, who share with the guests with new recipes, organize workshops and tastings.So, in addition to traditional sweets last year, festival-goers were treated to ravioli with goat cheese and chocolate, fish under chocolate sauce and fruit fondue that could personally zaglazirovat in a chocolate fountain.

no cost and without a festival of new products from the company Cadbury - the most famous in the world of British chocolate maker.Starting with a small shop selling sweets, John Cadbury chocolate has managed to establish its own production, to become a supplier of the royal court and turn a small company into the biggest chocolate empire.London Festival of Chocolate is not as popular in the world, as the company's products of Cadbury, but the number of visitors is increasing every year.

3.Festival chocolate in Toledo (Belize)

Dates: 20-22 May 2011

Belize - small country in Central America.Here archaeologists have found some of the earliest traces of chocolate history.Its particles are found on the walls of the old pitchers, dated 600-400 years BC.

Every spring, held in Belize Toledo Cacao Festival, dedicated to chocolate and its roots upward to the culture of the Maya.Perhaps it is here that once the first cocoa plantations were broken, from which local tribes have learned to become famous chocolate drink.

Festival in Belize is unique in that is presented chocolate only local artists and companies.So, Cyrlia's brand chocolate - a family business of the villagers of San Felipe.Relatives of the large family of organic cocoa is grown themselves, collect it and make chocolate with wild vanilla, orange peel, coconut, ginger, mango and even chili.A Belize company Kakaw is the only one in the world whose chocolate factory is located right on the beach.During the festival, you can visit the plantation of cocoa and under the guidance of local farmers to try to cook the chocolate itself.

4.Festival chocolate in Amsterdam (Holland)

Date: October 2011

It seems incredible, but in the Netherlands there is no chocolate factory.Although Amsterdam is today it is one of cocoa beans in the world's largest ports.Take a visit to the company kakaoperegruzochnye Amsterdam harbor and see the bags of beans, which are then transformed into chocolate bars, it is possible in the days of the local annual festival of chocolate.

One tours the festival is not limited.In most of the restaurants in advance develop a special menu where chocolate becomes an integral part of many dishes, from soup and ending with intricate desserts.In the bars of the city poured chocolate beer.But those who want to buy sweets for the future are flocking to the street Hyudenstrat where in the house №12 is a chocolate shop Madame de Pompadour.The number of all kinds and varieties of chocolate are not counted, and in the days of the festival prices will tend to decline.

While chocolate festival only happens once a year in Amsterdam.Soon, the city authorities promise to finish the chocolate theme park based on the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."It will be located under the ground, and in addition to the attractions it will work only a tiny chocolate factory in the whole of Holland.

5.Shokoladny Salon in Paris (France)

Date: October 2011

French argue that they instilled throughout Europe love for chocolate.The first factory, where they made chocolate, opened in Paris back in 1659, and then its mass production was established fairly quickly.

achievements of modern French chocolatier are the annual Salon du Chocolat, which opens every autumn in Paris.The capital of France is not in vain considered trendsetter.Even the chocolate festival is not held without the catwalk.For example, last year 15 famous fashion houses have prepared a sumptuous sweet outfits.Dresses, skirts, hats, handbags, jewelry and even underwear are made from a special blend of chocolate, which is not melted at mannequins bodies.In addition to the clothes were presented cosmetics containing cocoa, fashion house Givenchy has offered perfume with the scent of chocolate.At the Paris Salon exhibited chocolate and rare collection of candy boxes, some of which are decorated with precious stones, and are true works of jewelry art.

6.Festival chocolate in Perugia (Italy)

Date: October 2011

first acquaintance with Italian chocolate took place in the XVII century.It was then that in Tuscany there were arrangements for making it.From there the chocolate migrated to Rome, where he immediately liked the fathers of Vatican that could use it even in the post.Then chocolate spread across the country.

Today is one of the world's largest chocolate festivals held in the Italian Perugia.This festival - lifework Guarduchchi Eugenio, director of the chocolate factory Perugina Chocolate, the world famous Baci chocolates with happy wishes inside.Another 18-year-old teenager Guarduchchi traveled to Munich's famous Oktoberfest.He was struck by the popular German beer festival, and decided to create something similar in his native Perugia.Thus was born the idea of ​​a chocolate festival, which was first held in 1993.

in Perugia much like to do in a big way.For example, candy, weighing 5.8 tonnes, on the preparation of which lasted more than a thousand hours, and ate it in just two, was entered in the Guinness Book of Records.And in the days of the festival the whole city is literally filled with traditional Italian food such as pasta, cheese and pizza, although made of chocolate.In any case, the statement perudzhintsev that chocolate is never too much, is justified by the festival for one hundred percent.

7.Festival chocolate in Bruges (Belgium)

Date: 11-13 November 2011

small Belgian town of Bruges is considered to be the chocolate capital of Europe.At the beginning of the XX century there came up with pralines.And today there is the highest density of candy stores on the city square meter.And they called the studio, because chocolate in them not only sell, but also to do manually.

chocolate festival could be held in Bruges at least every day, but officially it is held every year, and the number of tourists visiting it reaches the city's population.In the narrow streets grow chocolate sculptures, and carve them directly on the eyes of the audience, who immediately eats the remains of the material used.Belgian chocolatier, devoid of prejudice and confident that the filling in confectionery can be absolutely anyone, prove it, treating guests of the festival with sweets and chocolate bars to taste oysters, garlic and pizza.

apotheosis of the festival becomes a demonstration of chocolate cosmetics.Anyone can try to mask themselves from the hot chocolate, after which the promise of rejuvenation effect at least 10 years.By the way, during his controversial visit of the first lady Svetlana Medvedev took away from Bruges chocolate lipstick.

8.Festival Christmas and chocolate in Dublin (Ireland)

Dates: from 3 to 5 December 2011

Irish capital associated with chocolate is quite bizarre stories.Thus, a resident of Dublin Mary Ann O'Brien, who a couple of years ago, cooked chocolate in your own kitchen and sold it exclusively familiar, now heads the chocolate company Lily O'Brien's with an annual turnover of $ 10 million. And the singer Lady Gaga gives to drink their hot chocolatefreezing Dublin fans.

And let Ireland until it became home to the world-famous chocolate brands, but its chocolate festival she already has.Every year on the eve of Christmas in Dublin specially written anthem Chocolate Festival opens local chocolate.In the first place it focuses on training, not on the eating of sweets.Therefore, in the vast markets of dozens of chocolate masters teach everyone to cook sweets copyrights.It offers complete creative freedom: Confectioners only recommend the use of a particular ingredient to the future chocolate masterpiece was not only beautiful, but also guaranteed to be delicious.British artist John Hicks gives a half-hour lessons in drawing with chocolate.Hundreds of his students painted chocolate Santa Clauses, created in the days of the festival, it is a great gift for the upcoming holidays.