While scientists may not agree that chocolate in its myriad forms can inspire actual physical addiction, most chocoholics will argue that their cravings and mood swings during times of deprivation point to a physical dependency on the cocoa bean.
Fortunately, unlike other addicts, chocoholics are celebrated for their fine taste in what is arguably the emperor of all sweets, and their drug of choice is venerated for its complexity, malleability, and (above all else) scrumptiousness in hundreds of festivals around the globe. If you identify as an avid chocoholic, you should buy your ticket now to one of these top chocolate festivals in 2015.
1. Eurochocolate — Italy
Just up the Italian coast from the hustle and bustle of Rome, the quiet, historic city of Perugia attracts nearly a million visitors for one week only during its annual Eurochocolate Festival. Inarguably the largest celebration of chocolate on the planet, Eurochocolate has everything from chocolate cooking classes to chocolate sculpting competitions, including a multitude of chocolate vendors that line the streets offering as many free samples as you can hold. You can enjoy live music from morning to night as you explore international chocolate companies, and the end of the festival is marked by the Eurochocolate Awards Ceremony, where you can learn who esteemed connoisseurs deem the best of the world’s expert chocolatiers.
2. Sin City Chocolate Festival — United States
For all the sins on offer in Las Vegas, the mountains of chocolate available during the city’s yearly chocolate festival is certainly the most tempting. During the first week of April, Sin City — already a haven for the most talented and prolific cooking maestros — attracts and assembles the world’s greatest confectioners and pastry chefs to create the country’s best sweet treat tasting event. Alongside your chocolate, you’ll be able to try top wine and spirits to make your chocoholism even more enjoyable.
While you’re in town, you might as well fit in a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World Las Vegas, where America’s favorite chocolate company offers tastes of more than 800 variations of its iconic candy bars as well as freshly baked treats and other unique Hershey’s experiences.
3. ChocolART — Germany
Germany is well-known for its love of sweets: No fewer than five popes were petitioned by German princes to lift the Lenten ban on butter so Germans could properly prepare their cakes and cookies during spring. Thus, it must be obvious that Germany’s biggest and best chocolate festival, ChocolART, is almost unbearably decadent in its production of sweet treats. Indeed, this historic town of Tubingen transforms into a chocoholic’s paradise as the world’s finest chocolatiers line the streets to dole out goodies. There are classes for tasting and cooking the treat, and a few vendors even offer a luxurious chocolate massage that utilizes magic chocolate components to revitalize the skin.
4. Choco-Late — Belgium
As each citizen of Belgium consumes more than 17 pounds of the good stuff every year, common chocoholics have much to learn from this major producer and consumer of chocolate. That’s why a trip to Belgium’s Choco-Late Festival in November is well-warranted. Only the most gourmet chocolatiers peddle their product here, which means budding connoisseurs can practice the delicate art on some excellent chocolates.
Plus, if their consumption wasn’t evidence enough of their passion for chocolate, the Belgians also have an art museum devoted to chocolate works, including paintings and sculptures with chocolate as the medium and muse.
5. The Chocolate Festival — United Kingdom
Coming up fast is Britain’s celebration of chocolate, which takes place every March in four different locations around the island nation: London’s South Bank, Brighton’s New Road, Oxford’s Broad Street, and Bristol’s Old Station. The Chocolate Festival honors both traditional and modern interpretations of the age-old treat, reveling in cheap candy bars and epicurean confections alike. Stalls throughout the festival offer pastries and candies in all shapes and sizes, so you should come hungry if you are looking to leave happy.
6. Chocolate Rush Festival — Australia
A mix of chocolate festival and industry conference, the Chocolate Rush Festival is an opportunity for chocoholics to indulge in and also learn about their favorite treat. Through a series of classes and seminars, you can find out where and how chocolate is made, how to taste it like an expert, and how to pair chocolate with other foods and beverages. Kids are welcome to visit as well, as several classes are aimed at younger chocoholics’ educations.