Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brazil Hosts the Salon du Chocolat for the First Time

The 20120 edition of the world's largest and most prestigious trade far and exposition dedicated to chocolate, the Salon du Chocolat, took place two weeks ago in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Previously, the exposition had been held in Europe, Asia and in North America, but this year was the first time it was held in the Southern Hemisphere and the first time it was held in South America. From July 02 to July 09, Salvador was the center of the chocolate world and the city's trade and convention center was chocolate heaven.

It was appropriate that of all the major Brazilian cities, Salvador was chosen to host the event. Bahia state historically and presently has always been the center of cacau cultivation in Brazil. Today Brazil ranks 4th in the world in chocolate consumption and 5th in the world in chocolate cultivation, and a good percentage of Brazilian chocoate originates in the cacau-growing region in the southern part of Bahia.

This edition of the Salon du Chocolat fittingly included a homage/tribute to Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado. 2012 marks the centennial of the Bahian writer's birth, and throughout the year his literary legacy is being commemorated in Brazil. Amado himself was the son of a cacau planter, and many of his novels, including his most famous, Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon, were set in southern Bahia in the golden age of cacau production.

The exposition included a trade show, lectures, demonstrations, a symposium and a special kids' section. There were also tours to the region of cacau-production in southern Bahia prior to the events in the capital.

At a time when the industry is undergoing a renaissance and when the image of Brazilian chocolate is improving worldwide, hosting this prestigious event is a shot in the arm for Brazilian cacau agriculture. And a very sweet experience for participants in the event.

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