Wednesday, 2 November, 2016 - 13:19

A trip to a chocolate festival

by ElizabethBlogger

I love chocolate. In fact, if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would definitely be chocolate. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that a chocolate festival was coming to Bastia, my new home town in Corsica! I felt just like Charlie when he found his golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory …

Fortunately, golden tickets were not needed to enter the festival, which opened its doors on the 21st October and lasted for three whole days! For just €2.50 each, my friends and I stepped inside the huge festival tent, where we could eat as many samples as we wanted. Known as the ‘Salon du Chocolat’, the festival is one of the most popular events in Corsica. It takes place in the Place Saint-Nicolas in Bastia’s city centre and more than 50,000 chocolate lovers visit every year.

Once inside the festival, I could not help feeling a little overwhelmed. With over 125 different stalls and exhibitions dedicated to my favourite sweet treat, it was difficult to know where to begin! I eventually decided to head straight for the highlight of the festival; a gigantic Arc de Triomphe made entirely out of chocolate! Measuring almost 4 metres high, the monument took master chocolatier Bruno Rouly almost 1500 hours to complete. What’s more, over 900kg of chocolate was used during construction; even I couldn’t eat that much! Surprisingly, despite the sunny weather outside, the Arc de Triomphe showed no signs of melting. Later on, I found out that a special wax had been used to preserve the monument during the festival. Unfortunately, the wax was inedible, so the chocolate monument could not be eaten – what a waste!

After taking a few selfies in front of the chocolate Arc de Triomphe, I began to explore the different stalls. Whilst most of the chocolate on offer came from Corsica, some chocolatiers travelled all the way from Morocco, Canada, Switzerland and even Madagascar for the festival! The chocolate came in many different shapes, sizes and flavours; I saw chocolate aeroplanes, shoes, animals and, my personal favourite, pencils! There were also stalls for those who do not enjoy chocolate as much as I do. Corsican winemakers, bakers and cheesemakers also take part in the festival each year so that visitors can place their orders before Christmas. One stall that caught my eye in particular was selling roasted insects! I think I’ll stick to the chocolate …

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If you could create your own chocolate monument, what would you build and why?

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