As John G. Tullius said it once: "nine people out of ten like chocolate – the tenth one is lying". I am pretty sure it must be the same ratio in Pécs, Hungary too. In 2019, it will already the seventh time that the locals’ beloved chocolate paradise, namely Chocolate Carnival will be held in the Baranya county seat. Every year around this time, the city’s Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, an unprecedentedly great cultural and artistic gem, becomes an island of sweet pleasures. The widely known Zsolnay porcelain is also made next door, by the way. Let me guide you through this lovely event and draw your attention to what to expect. And don't be upset if you miss out this year, as Chocolate Carnival is happens every February.
Each year, more than 20 diverse stage programs await all the gourmets, where the main attraction is naturally a wide selection of premium craft sweets. Several exhibitors from different parts of the country await visitors with real specialties and unique hand-made products. The audience can meet the domestic craft chocolate makers on the stage, with some surprise performances and presentations. Visitors can also admire the extraordinary chocolate specialty at the carnival, that is inspired by a so-called Damascus hexagonal tile made in the famous Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory. This is prepared by a local chocolate shop out of the magic sweets, and one of the painters from Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory conjures up the fascinating patterns onto it - using chocolate of course.
The 2018's sensation was the fourth type of chocolate, the ruby chocolate, made out of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. The pink Ruby therefore will play a major role in every year’s carnival too from now on. In addition to gastronomic experiences, the music and science projects are also on offer at the carnival. For instance, throughout the event, a 3D printer regularly works in the foreground. In connection with this, there are presentations and exhibitions with the help of the 3D project of the University of Pécs. During the festival, children can play chocolate related memory and logic games and pack a chocolate train. Besides that, even an animated playhouse is awaiting the little ones.
The events are hosted by a creative chef, who prepares extraordinary chocolate dishes for the visitors. The admission is always free. However, there are also some additional programs, subjects to payment. On the occasion of the Chocolate Carnival, the organizers provide an extraordinary science presentation titled "Sweetest Experiments", during which the physicists show how interesting experiments can be done using gum, marshmallow and ice cream among others. In the "Marzipan modelling clay" task, children can make edible figures out of colourful marzipans, but they also have a chance to paint chocolate, and in the end, they can even bestrew them with tiny sugar spots.
I firmly believe that everyone who love these heavenly sweets must be there at this chocolate Paradise at least once in the city of Zsolnay porcelain, Pécs, as there is nothing better than a nice weekend, except for a nice weekend with chocolate.
Do you want to be Willy Wonka and make your own chocolate bar? Read my co-editor, Alara Benlier's article on Ritter Chocolate, Germany. If you are after the best Belgian chocolate, I have a tip for you in that case too!
Cover photo © credits to shutterstock / gornostay
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