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Seoul’s sweet rendezvous with chocolate, ‘Salon du Chocolat’

Seoul hosted Salon du Chocolat, a show dedicated to everything chocolate, over four days from Thursday to Sunday at Coex. The chocolate festival premiered in Paris in 1994 and has so far toured 16 countries around the world.

Visitors could try their hands at dessert making at the cooking corner, shop for chocolate and drinks that go well chocolate such as tea, wine and coffee -- all of which were available to sample. A chocolate-themed fashion show and a chocolate art exhibition pleased the eyes well as the palate.

(Salon du Chocolat)
(Salon du Chocolat)

The trade show was also attended by government organizations and embassies.

“Peru is participating for the first time at this event. We are very well-known for our cocoa beans as one of world’s top exporters,” said Joan Manuel Barrena, commercial counselor of Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. 

“I think Korea is growing in terms of chocolate business. They’re not only importing worldwide brands, they’re also doing their own chocolate (businesses) at home. (At ‘Salon du Chocolat’ in Seoul) you can see the industry has expanded here.”

(Video shot and edited by Kim Arin / The Korea Herald)

The event’s organizer Shin Hyun-dae said “the recent trend of consumer psychology is geared towards treating oneself with ‘short yet sweet’ luxuries,” forecasting a bright future for high-end chocolate and dessert market. 

“‘Salon du Chocolat in Seoul’ plays the role of providing space for businesses to bond with consumers, and assist proliferation of desserts culture.”

The six-hour exhibition on Friday wrapped up with a chocolate-making demonstration by world-renowned French patissier-chocolatier Arnaud Larher.

When asked to describe in one word what “chocolate” meant to him, Larher replied: “emotion.” “Because even if you taste (the chocolate) with your eyes closed, the emotional experience of it permeates,” he said.

By Kim Arin (