I love chocolate. I love heritage. And Amsterdam offers the two of them between 7-22 November during the Chocolate Festival!
Looking at the programs I learned that a chocolate festival is much more than simply eating chocolates. They organise a bicycle tour and a walk to trace a history of chocolate in Holland. They display an exhibition about Chocolate Expedition of van Houten whom I am sure sound familiar for chocolate lovers in Indonesia. There is also a fashion show with clothes from chocolates! Museums and library are involved, besides of course, chocolate patisseries, restaurants and hotels.
The mission of the festival is to set cacao beans and chocolate industry as images of Amsterdam : sexy, creative and sustainable.
Amsterdam is the largest chocolate port in the world. Every year about 600 million kilos cacao beans is transported by ships. That amount is about one fifth of the world's chocolate production. Most cacao beans came from Cote d'Ivoire West Africa countries and Ghana. The cacao beans are proceed to become cacao bulk and cacao butter and imported to the US and other European countries.
And about the chocolate expedition of van Houten, it began in 1828 when Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented chocolate powder. At that time he still worked in Amsterdam, then finally he opened a chocolate factory in Weesp, close to Amsterdam. He got cacao beans supply from Ghana. A photographer, Frits Lemaire (1921-2005) and sineas Louis van gasteren were the members of the expedition. The journey between Amsterdam and Accra were the main source of their works, including diaries and souvenirs.