I had the chance to visit the absolutely stunning Chocolate Show at the Olympia last weekend, courtesy of Love Popups London. As a total and utter chocolate aficionado, I was excited to get to see gourmet chocolate at its best.
Right from the get-go, we were enveloped in the delicious smell of cocoa, with many samples ready to be devoured.
The majority of exhibitors were extremely friendly, willing to chat about their products and what makes them stand out. I was especially interested in the myriad of specialty products that aren’t usually found on shop shelves.
One of my early favourites was Goufrais, a German company making chocolate confections. Their little miniature-Bundt cake looking treats reminded me of Eiskonfekt, a soft chocolate treat I grew up with in Germany. Goufrais seemed like the grown-up gourmet version of one of my favourite childhood treats.
The show was almost overwhelming for the senses, with Brazilian drummers and dancers, art exhibitions and just so much chocolate. I absolutely loved the stunning artworks created in chocolate, like this amazing Picasso. I don’t know whether I want to hang it on the wall or eat it!
Among the many chocolate sellers, there were a few nougat vendors with stunning displays as well as several chocolate confectionery stalls. And almost all of them offered samples to enjoy. I especially loved the smoothness of Sylvia and Terry‘s confections, the subtle flavour of Torta Pistocchi‘s cakes, and the bright and colourful designs of Urban Village Chocolates.
We also got to sample YumYum Tree Fudge, which is packed full of flavour while being a lot less sweet than most fudge I’ve tried; delightfully made and absolutely worth sampling ever single flavour. Their liquorice fudge is surprisingly good!
There was also a small kitchen setup that served cocoa spiced baby back ribs and two types of hot chocolate chilli dogs. I love cocoa flavour in savoury meals, so this was a delight to try. The chilli dog had a very subtle cocoa flavour, but was packed with spices and herbs.
A chocolate lover’s paradise, I was starting to feel a little overloaded at this point. So many smells and sights and sounds to process. And so many flavours!
Bullion Craft Chocolate had one of the simplest but most effective displays, with their shiny golden chocolate bars. The three different flavour profiles are achieved solely by using beans from different countries of origin, with each one tasting distinctly unique.
I loved wandering around this stunning show and will definitely return next time for more chocolatey goodness. In hindsight, I wish I’d have spent more time just walking around taking everything in visually before diving in and indulging my taste buds. The art exhibitions and displays throughout the show were stunning on their own and deserved more time than I was able to devote to them.
Absolutely loved the experience and will definitely be back. Full five out of six rainbow sloths from me!