Paris Salon du Chocolat A Chocolate-Lovers Playground

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salon du chocolat in ParisEvery year in Paris there is a chocolate-lover’s paradise. It comes just after the indulgent and high-quality Chocolate Unwrapped and just before the Christmas Chocolate Festival market. In Paris outside the venue the queue to get in is massive on the weekend, but luckily I got to go on the press day (which is still very busy).  After the press of bodies last year (thank goodness for Pierre Marcolini and him taking us into the VIP lounge), I’m going back again!

Yes, it is Salon du Chocolat and it is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the chocolate calendar in Paris. There are tons of traders we just don’t see in the UK like Chapon, JP Hevin, Pierre Marcolini, Benoit Nihant, Beschle, Pralus, Bonnat, and more but that could be because those are French chocolatiers and chocolate makers whereas at Chocolate Unwraped we have mainly British chocolatiers and chocolate-makers plus some Hungarians 😉

Salon du Chocolat is in a large expo hall filled with almost nothing but chocolate. It has stands and stalls, creations and competitions and a trade-only area for chocolatiers and chocolate makers to visit and find the latest equipment and chocolate coverture. 400 participants, including over 200 renowned international chefs and pastry chefs, will take the podium one after the other to demonstrate recipes and work alongside 160 chocolate exhibitors from all over the world. Over 12,600 sq.m of interactive exhibition space, the 2012 Salon du Chocolat offers all visitors an immersion in the New Worlds of Chocolate with a unique cultural, celebratory and gastronomic experience. Nearly 130,000 visitors are expected for this 2012 Exhibition.

Yes, you read that correctly – nearly ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY *THOUSAND* visitors. People. All in one space. Woah. That eclipses Cake & Bake even which seemed packed and huge to me. That is why they have these massive barriers set up and why I am grateful for the press entrance because I’m not sure I’d bother reporting on it if it was that insane but it is also extreme fun!

The chocolate world is changing but it is still small. Over 90% of the world’s cocoa production comes from 5.5 million small farms. Around 3.5 million tonnes of cocoa are produced every year. Nearly 50 million people depend on cocoa for their livelihood. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana produce over 50% of the world’s cocoa. In 2010, 1% of the production was sold under Fairtrade/Max Havelaar conditions. 85% of the world’s cocoa and chocolate market is represented by six multinationals: Hershey, Mars, Philip Morris, Nestlé, Cadbury and Ferrero. (Sources: World Cocoa Foundation, Cocoa Market Update, May 2010; http://www.mtm-news.com/;  euro-excellence.org)

This blog is all about tasting, experiencing and discovering everything from Twix Fino to William Curley’s Dessert Bar so what would you recommend I see while I’m there for fun and what do you want to see covered here? Best answers will win some Chocolate from Paris!!! Of course, your answers will determine what kind 😉

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About Judith Lewis

Editor and chief blogger at Mostly About Chocolate. Expert SEO. Judge at the Academy of Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Awards and UK Search Awards.

7 Responses to Paris Salon du Chocolat A Chocolate-Lovers Playground

  1. claire says:

    sounds like heaven 🙂 i’d definitely go and look at the pastry chefs, as there must be some unbelievable displays. with Christmas coming up, i’d also see what new tastes there are this season.

    • Judith Lewis says:

      Thanks Claire! I was sort of looking for *specific* things to check out. You know like a particular chocolate shop, a particular chocolate maker, a particular patissier and besides – I can’t mail pastries 😉

  2. Esther Tak says:

    Hi Judith,
    Alas, can’t go to Paris myself… no doubt you’ll have a great time there!

    Best to check out this chocolatier: http://www.chloe-chocolat.com/qui-sommes-nous . Especialy her El Ceibo Bolivian origin chocolate is interesting. Her view on specialty chocolate and her enthousiasm is inspiring!

    Kind regards,
    Esther
    The Hague/the Netherlands

  3. Lucky you, Judith, for getting to go to the Salon du Chocolat again. I haven’t been there in 3 years!

    Keep in mind that the 130,000 visitors are not all there at one time! That indeed would be insane!

    While you’re there, keep you eye open for Henri Le Roux. I haven’t yet tried his chocolates, but I hear he’s got an amazing concoction of apples, caramel, chocolate and sea salt that is divine. Enjoy!

  4. manuela says:

    Looks like the end of Kates event if the Salon comes to London.

    • Judith Lewis says:

      I don’t know. I’d like to believe that there is room in the UK for multiple events. Salon is really large with a different emphasis whereas Chocolate Unwrapped is the culmination of Chocolate Week so a different emphasis and different time of the year and different visitors 🙂

      We’ll have to see, right?

  5. compound chocolate says:

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