madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

from Umbria with chocolate

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the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia is a good opportunity to sample new and fashonable products

the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia is a good opportunity to sample new and fashionable products

Every year around this time, mid October, I get vaguely annoyed. First of all it gets cold and wet for the first time after months of wonderful weather. It’s still beautiful all around, but one needs to get used to the sweaters.

Then, like every October in the last 10 years,  Eurochocolate comes to Perugia and so the traffic and a million chocolate wrappers.

Eurochocolate is a large chocolate festival, sponsored by the big chocolate brands. It brings more than 100 thousand visitors to our small provincial capital. The locals lock themselves up for 2 week-ends. There is not point in getting squashed when one can buy (most of) the same stuff in the supermarket.

It’s better to visit during the week if one wants to get any close to the stands.

fine Venchi chocolate from Torino

faboulus Venchi chocolate from Torino

Those who love crowds can go in the weekend to see the making of the chocolate sculptures in Perugia’s main street Corso Vannucci. Large blocks of chocolate are carved by energetic artists and all the trimmings are given out for free to the onlookers (video).

Altrocioccolato, held in Gubbio is the cozy, fair-trade, green alternative to the monster kermesse. There’s lots of organic stuff, hand knitted socks, good music and free theatre for the kids. It’s even possible to find parking space. Really, it is very friendly.

no sponsors and genuine children entertrainment at Altrocioccolato Festival in Gubbio

no sponsors and genuine children entertainment at Altrocioccolato Festival in Gubbio

As for myself, if I need special chocolate, I can get it year around, I have friends. I go to Barbara in Santa Maria degli Angeli*  or to Elena in Palazzo**  where I can find a variety of artisan chocolate at reasonable prices. I like to support small companies. I like to get suggestions and a bite to taste in peace, no queuing up required.

I am grateful to someone who makes the effort to trace good genuine products, possibly from another small company, and hands it with a smile. They know I’ll be back tomorrow.

*Terra Umbra. Via Patrono d’Italia 10, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi
**Pasta fresca e non solo, 43, Viale Michelangelo Palazzo di Assisi
 

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

6 thoughts on “from Umbria with chocolate

  1. I have fond memories of Terra Umbra and all the lovely chocolates that were a feast for the eyes as well as the palate…..not to mention all the other delicacies and Barbara’s gracious demeanor. Great store and resource!!!! Thanks for the post on chocolate my mouth is now watering Letizia!

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  2. Hi Lisa, thank you for your comment. More and more I realize how lucky I am to live in this place that is not only beautiful but rich of “culinary opportunities” !!!!

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  3. Whoa, that video is a bit startling — I’ve never seen men going at a huge block of chocolate with pick-axes and hatchets!!!!

    Although I love chocolate, and I love Perugia, I’m not sure I’d really enjoy this festival. I don’t enjoy crowds that much, especially when crowds and food and sponsors are all mixed together. Ick. Doesn’t sound like a good recipe — I love your suggestion that the local residents lock themselves up for the 2 weekends of Eurochocolate!

    That said, the Gubbio alternative chocolate festival sounds far more fun, that photo with the kids in costumes in delightful!

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  4. Ciao Sandra!
    god to hear from you. If I know you a bit, the large festival is not for you as it is really not for me. I do go every other year or so, just in case I discover something new. However the concept of tasting expensive chocolate on the go does not appeal to me.

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  5. I’m not really one for crowds either. I prefer to go to an event during a quiet time of day, especially with two babies (17 mths & 3 mths). But the Eurochocolate sounds intriguing. I love chocolate and to attend this fest just once would make me very, very happy. :-)

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  6. Hi Rosabela, there are many possibilities to taste good chocolate in Umbria, even with two babies!

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