Various chocolate goodness delighted SM shoppers last October 12-15 at the Annex Event Center. Twenty-four exhibitors offered chocolate products ranging from chocolate desserts to drinks, chocolate liqueur to pralines, as well as wellness products with cacao butter at the Davao Chocolate Festival mounted by SM City Davao and the Cacao Industry Development Association Inc.
Exciting chocolate food impressions were introduced by newcomers Cacao Culture, Chocoloco Inc, Auro Chocolate, Capt Du’s Cacao, MS3 Agri-ventures, Johanns, Milky, The Bright Side, Confex and Co., Sweets of Tirzah, Comval Tropical Harvest, Ballovar Creations and Yolks. Davao Chocolate Festival mainstays The Chocolate Bean, Malagos Chocolate, Cidami, Rosario Davao Artisanal Chocolates, Cacao De Davao, Puratos, Aromacology, NutraRich, Fedco, Chocolate de San Isidro, and Lara Mia also offered Davao’s favorite chocolate treats.
“Cacao from Davao is the best because of the richness of Davao soil which is due to its proximity to Mt. Apo,” exhibitor from Auro Chocolate said. Auro is a Luzon-based chocolate brand which sources its cacao from Davao.
A project of SM City Davao and the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. the Davao Chocolate Festival brings together the region’s best cacao growers and processors. This year, the project is also supported by the Department of Trade and Industry as well as the city government of Davao through the City Agriculturist’s Office.
“We are very happy to be part of the growth of the cacao industry here in the region. The Davao Chocolate Festival is SM’s way of helping local growers, processors as well as starting entrepreneurs by giving them an avenue to showcase their products,” SM City Davao mall manager Lynette Angala-Lopez said.
During the event launch, Mayor Sara Duterte acknowledged SM City Davao and CIDAMI for the role it played in promoting the cacao industry in the city. Also gracing the opening day were DTI Cacao Industry Coordinator Edwin Banquerigo and the chocolate queen from Cebu Raquel Choa. Leading the ceremonial breaking of the giant chocolate were SM City Davao mall manager Lynette Lopez, assistant mall manager Engr. Warren Rey Bautista and CIDAMI executive director Val Turtur.
Apart from the chocolate market, a cooking demo was conducted by the Marco Polo Hotel Davao. Chef Joseph Milgo and Hernard Ampon prepared Flour-less Durian Chocolate Cake and Tablea Cocktail using the locally grown and produced tablea.
Lecture series on growing, processing and packaging were scheduled throughout the festival dates. Kids also discovered the sweet chocolate journey from beans to bars in the kiddie tours.
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