The sweet smell of rich dark chocolate is once again in the air in central Portugal. It is Óbidos Chocolate Festival time. For this eleventh edition taking place 22 February to 17 March, organizers are promising a full agenda of favorite crowd activities and innovative new surprises to make this festival bigger and better than ever.
Every year, as many as 200,000 choc-oholics descend on this quaint medieval city to celebrate, participate and taste all forms of this delicious, decadent dessert. Inside the walls of the old castle is where the action takes place. All forms of chocolate can be sampled and bought. Costumed characters interact with kids.
Always a popular attraction is the display of chocolate sculptures. In the past, food artists have carved famous monuments of the world (see the Kremlin and Taj Mahal in photos below). This year, the theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Professionals from the Vocational Center for Food Professionals will reproduce scenes from the popular film.
In the Creative Cuisine demonstration, renowned Portuguese chefs will prepare savory dishes of meat and fish using chocolate as an ingredient. Each day of the festival offers a different chef and dish.
If you’d like to learn to cook chocolate dishes yourself, the festival offers three levels of courses. The first is for beginners. The second is for those who have some knowledge of working with chocolate and would like to learn more. The third is for advanced chocolate creations. All three classes are offered each day of the festival. Check the Óbidos Chocolate Festival Courses page for schedules.
A new feature this year is the “My Chocolate Box” contest, which rewards the most creative boxes for chocolates. Also new for 2013 is the “Chocolate Factory,” a production space for visitors to watch the chocolate making process. There will also be a space dedicated to cookbooks and pastry-themed chocolate. Meanwhile, mature choco-holics will enjoy the the experimental chocolate cocktails and the chocolate research laboratory.
Other activities at the festival include cake decorating classes, Chocolate Recipe Contest, Portuguese Chocolatier of the Year Contest, and Chocolatesmith Chocolate Jewelry Contest.
Also at the festival, be sure to taste Ginja de Óbidos, the regional specialty liqueur, served in chocolate cups.
The Óbidos Chocolate Festival runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for four weeks. Following is useful information about the event, or visit the Óbidos Chocolate Festival website.
Fridays – 14:00 to 20:00
Saturdays – 10:00 to 22:00
Sundays – 10:00 to 20:00
Adults (over age 12) – €7.00
Children (ages 6 to 11) – €5.00
Free Admission for holders of Via Verde for Culture
Groups of 50 or more – €6.00 per person
Children Cooking - €3.00
Chocolatier Courses- Each course is one hour for €7.50 * (includes award certificate).
* To have access to the space course is also necessary to purchase the ticket of the event.
Buy tickets at the event or at all CTT post office locations and FNAC stores. Tickets are also available online here.
Phone: +351 262 959 231
Fax: +351 262 955 524