Celebrating International Chocolate Day

Yes, there are many days of the year devoted to chocolate and cacao. September 13th happens to be one of my favourites, as that is the day we celebrate International Chocolate Day.

The chocolate bar pictured above, is one of my favourites, and a terrific example of just how international chocolate can be. This chocolate is crafted in Switzerland by chocolate masters named Felchin, according to specifications given by Original Beans Chocolate, which is based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. These bars are made from cocoa beans grown in Tanzania, Africa. They are of the ultra-rare category of cacao called Udzungwa Trinitario, a hybrid of Ecuadorian Nacional and Trinitario from Venezuela. I challenge you to find a bar more worthy of a celebratory salute on International Chocolate Day!

International chocolate is high atop my mind these days as I prepare for a trip to Trinidad to serve as a judge at the 8th annual Trinidad Tobago World Cocoa and Chocolate Day Expo and Inbound Trade Mission at the Hyatt Recency Trinidad, October 4-5, 2019. In addition to the exciting itinerary for this event, which includes: a chocolate demo and sampling event, the opportunity to taste savoury culinary creations in the Chocolate Cuisine event, and an exotic series of taste sensations at the Rum and Chocolate tasting event. Following the two days of tastings and fun, I’ll have the opportunity to participate in some Agro Tourism Tours to cocoa farms and a visit to the International Cocoa Genebank Trinidad, the largest and most diverse cacao collection in the public domain.

This is exciting for me, as Trinidad is the birthplace of the Trinitario varietal of cacao, a hybrid of the Forastero and Criollo cacao varietals. Many chocolate makers including Original Beans use Trinitario beans to make their delicious chocolate as the quality and flavour are excellent, and the price more affordable than the highly coveted Criollo beans.

Cocobel is one of the finest chocolate companies in Trinidad.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2019 World Cocoa and Chocolate Day expo in Trinidad, please visit this link. And if you can’t make it there yourself this year, please stay tuned to this blog, as I’ll cover the various aspects of my trip in posts to come.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

18 Responses

  1. JARLOX NS says:

    Comment: International Chocolate Day sounds like a delicious celebration! It’s fascinating to learn about the diverse origins of chocolate and the unique events surrounding it.

    Question: What makes the Trinitario varietal of cacao significant, and how does it contribute to the flavor profile of chocolates made from it?

    • Thanks for this question. Trintario is a terrific varietal of cacao as it is a hybrid blend of Forestero (the cheaper varietal of cacao used in making bulk chocolate) and Criollo (the elite varietal used in the creation of artisanal chocolate.) It is cheaper and more disease resistant than Criollo and it is more flavourful than Forestero.

  2. How fascinating! I hope you meet the Philippine Consul General to Trinidad & Tobago Honorable Marie Magno-Advani. Ask her about chocolate made in the Philippines! She was my co-scholar at the International School of Manila.

  3. Have a wonderful time in Trinidad. I look forward to hearing about that trip! I missed getting special chocolate on the 13th, so I’ll have to indulge! I always like reading about the intricacies of chocolate making–like how different countries can be involved in one!

    • Indeed, RoseMary. Chocolate and cocoa culture are truly from one country to another. They each have their own flavour (literally as well as figuratively.) I can’t wait to get back to Trinidad and learn about their world of chocolate and cacao.

  4. How wonderful to be in Trinidad for this festival! Learning about chocolate is fascinating. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

  5. Janet says:

    How exciting. Trinidad. I heard it’s a very beautiful place to visit. I hope you enjoy your venture.

  6. Well, though I wasn’t aware it was International Chocolate Day, I think I did indulge in some delicious chocolate from Seattle that day. Have fun in Trinidad!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Carole. Yes, Seattle is making some great chocolate! I am indeed looking forward to my return trip to Trinidad and participating in the World Chocolate and Cocoa Expo and celebrations. #WCCD8

  7. Doreen, sometimes I am so jealous of your chocolate tourism! I’d love to go to Trinidad and Tobago someday, and I love to try local chocolate pretty much everywhere!

    • Rachel, I feel very fortunate to follow my dreams and travel the world in honour of chocolate and cacao. I am so grateful for the groups and tourism boards that value what I bring to their destination by bringing me in for a visit or to participate in their events. May the journey never end! 🙂

  8. Pat says:

    Looking forward to your article and pics! Enjoy!

  9. Beverly says:

    I wish to thank you for another informative blog. I hope you have a wonderful time in Trinidad.

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