Did you know that cocoa only grows in a band 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator? Did you know that chocolate has terroir, like wine?
Prahran Market's Wicked Chocolate Festival is happening this Saturday. It will have a line-up of vendors and speakers in the pop-up Chocolate Precinct.
“We’ll have workshops and demonstrations for people with different levels of experience – from pastry chefs to people who want to learn how to temper chocolate at home,” says the market’s resident chocolatier, Tad Lombardo. He traded in 22 years of engineering for a science of a different kind. "Chocolate is about chemicals and temperature and movement," he says.
There will also be a series of talks on the history of chocolate and manufacturing from producers Weiss, Daintree and ChocZero.
It’s a chance to learn what really goes into a block of chocolate. "Chocolate that's grown fair trade dramatically changes lives; all these things we take for granted – it's important," Lombardo says.
There will also be a chocolate-eating competition. Seven contestants will be given a one-kilogram bucket of chocolate buttons and two minutes to finish as many as they can. “We’ll have a variety of milk, dark and white and whoever finishes [or eats the most] first, wins,” says Lombardo.
The chocolate festival begins at 10.30am on Saturday May 7. The chocolate-eating competition will start at 12pm. Entry is free.
The Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road, South Yarra
This article was updated on May 4, 2016.