For those who like indulging themselves in delicate tastes or those who just feel the desire to eat something sweet now and then, Sweet Days Festival is the place to go. After its very first time last year, 2012’s Sweet Days Festival took place from Thursday, September 20 to Sunday, September 23, this time occupying a larger area in and around Buda Castle. The festival gives the opportunity to well-known and less well-known chocolate manufacturers from Hungary and abroad to impress the public with their fancy chocolate repertoire.
Some of the producers and traders were internationally acknowledged ones like Milka, Lindt and Mozartkugel, but the presentation of the Hungarian Zangio Artisan Chocolates, Harrer Chocolat, and ChocoMe, just to mention a few, was also nicely packaged. Zangio, for example, gave me their business card and a brochure along with a free piece of chocolate stick. The one that particularly grabbed my attention was Pesti Barnabás College and Secondary School of Food Technology, where the actual process of chocolate making was shown. It was also appealing to see a few companies, such as Cukor Labor, who specialised in diabetic products.
Sweets came in different shapes, layouts and material, from hamburger and coke look-alikes to neatly packed little cubes and piled up hand-made triangles. Along with chilli-tinged chocolate bars and lollipops with extra-thick sugar-coat, one could try some sweet drinks, vanilla and spicy beverages, even some delicate English black teas.
However, it was not only a market of sweets of different categories. The festival also focused on keeping people of different interests and age groups occupied. For conscious chocolate consumers, lectures of producers present at the festival were continuously held, after which everyone could ask for personal advice related to their particular questions. During the day, there were various children’s’ programmes, and after a long day’s walk, bellies filled with all the delicious wonders of the day could finally rest and listen to concerts of different style each day.
Despite all the wonders I encountered around the castle, I have to mention a drawback though. Upon entering the venue, I was slapped in the face by the 2000 HUF entrance fee – of course I am exaggerating here, since it didn’t come as a surprise as I had checked the price in advance. What disappointed me more, however, was that hardly any producers gave free snacks to taste, but I had to pay for almost every little crunchy bit of chocolate before I could feel its very essence melt in my mouth.
All in all, Sweet Days Festival provides one with an exciting share of the work of today’s talented chocolate craftsmen and traders from all over the world. One can also ask for counselling in diet issues, as well as enjoy the additional family programmes and the cosy atmosphere of open-air evening concerts. If you don’t mind devoting your budget a little more extensively, I definitely recommend attending next year’s chocolate session as well.
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by Tótiván Anett