The world’s greatest chocolate show returns to London from 17-19 October. Taking place at Olympia as the grand finale of Chocolate Week (13-19 October), The Chocolate Show will host incredible chocolate companies, demonstrations, tastings, truffle rolling, couture outfits made entirely of chocolate and much more.
Chocolate Week, the nation’s favourite themed week, returns for a tenth consecutive year, celebrating the world of fine chocolate from 13th to 19th October, 2014. The week culminates with the Chocolate Show London at Olympia West from 17th to 19th October, bringing the best of the industry together all under one roof.
Hundreds of events are expected this Chocolate Week around the UK, with the country’s top chocolatiers and chocolate companies, as well as hotels, bars and restaurants celebrating by hosting talks, tastings, demonstrations and sampling, as well as creating exclusive products, new launches, offers, chocolate meals, cocktails and recipes using some of the best chocolate brands from around the world.
Chocolate Week aims to promote fine flavour chocolate, the independent artisan chocolatiers and the chocolate companies who work in direct partnership with cocoa farmers, encouraging consumers to pay a fairer price for their chocolate
Heat, humidity and shade
The cocoa tree is cultivated in plantations situated on both sides of the Equator, the band that encircles the globe between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This delicate tree, with a trunk of around 20 cm in diameter, a height ranging between 3 and 8 metres, but exceeding 12 metres in the wild, grows in hot and humid climates, in semi-obscurity, in the shade of tall-growing plants and trees. An altitude of 400 to 700 metres is needed for ideal growth and development. It bears simultaneously white flowers and fruit, which it shelters in its dense and tapered foliage. The tree begins to flower after around 2 to 5 years, reaches its maturity after 12 years and continues to bear fruit for 30 years. One tree bears 50 000 to 100 000 flowers per year.
Approximately one in 100 of these will be fertilised and become a fruit – the cocoa pod. Oblong in shape, the cocoa pod is 15 to 25 cm in length. On the same tree, young pods can be yellow, green or almost violet in colour. Mature pods ready for harvest are also varied in colour. On the inside of the fruit, beneath a tough skin, is found a white pulp called the “mucilage” from which grains are extracted. These grains become almond-shaped beans (20 to 40 per pod). It is these beans that contain the precious cocoa. One cocoa tree can produce between a kilogram and a kilogram and a half of beans per year. The chocolate tree has conquered the whole world with the richness of its fruit.