International Chocolate Day is almost upon us (September 13th). Since everything is better in the Caribbean, it seemed fitting to share island events that celebrate this magic bean.
Jade Mountain’s Discover Chocolate Festival
This well-known and award winning luxury resort in St. Lucia celebrates the island’s 300-year-old history with the harvest and production of cacao beans. This year’s festival, October 10-14, kicks off with a launch party for the resort’s own Jade Mountain Estate Grown chocolate.
Other events include cacao plantation and organic farm tours, classes, and chocolate demonstrations led by Jade Mountain’s Chef Allen. There will also be plenty of chocolate infused foods and drinks like Chocolate Mini Sliders, Chocolate Fennel Crostini, and Chocolate-tinis (yes, please!).
Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival
This salivary gland inducing convergence of all things chocolate takes place in Cost Rica. This year’s festival is held October 31 – November 2. Local organic farmers, chocolatiers, and chocolate makers share samples and techniques with festival guests through presentations and workshops.
The festival ends with the popular Chocolate Crawl. Local bars, restaurants, spas, and chocolate shops play host to crawlers who get to savor delectable chocolate related dishes, drinks, and desserts.
Chocolate Festival of Belize
Formerly known as the Toledo Cacaofest, the Chocolate Festival of Belize is held each year during the nation’s Commonwealth Day Holiday Weekend in late May.
The festival kicks off with Wine and Chocolate, which showcases creations from local boutique chocolate makers. Guests also enjoy varied wines and craft beers like Belikin Chocolate Stout, a sweet stout beer produced by Belize Brewing Company.
Other events include the Taste of Toledo Street Fair, which teems with cacao themed food, craft booths, live entertainment, and fascinating exhibits.
Paying homage to the Maya culture, the Lubaantun Finale closes out the festival. Situated within the foothills of the Maya Mountains, the Lubaantun thrived between 730 AD and 860 AD. Rich soils and heavy rainfall in that area give way to prime Toledo cacao. The finale features cultural performances, live bands, craft vendors, and food courts.
Grenada Chocolate Festival
This past August marked the first year for this island’s festival. The weekend highlighted Grenadian artisans who shared their expertise in crafting small batch, hand made chocolate. Informative plantation tours, bartender competitions, and decadent chocolate spa treatments were just a few activities to enjoy.
Festival goers learned more about the benefits of chocolate through workshops and cooking classes. Tours of local estates and opportunities to meet with local farmers were also popular.
You can get a head start for next year and book a festival package at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort.
For more food related posts, check out Caribbean Food Tours, 5 Great Restaurants for a Romantic Dinner in the Caribbean, and The Caffeinated Caribbean.