Čokolada = Chocolate in Slovenian. Chocolate Ljubljana = Čokoljana, but only for a day.
Čokoljana is a free 1 day annual chocolate festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, organised by mojačokolada.si, which has been around for quite a few years now. The one in October 2019 was the 7th edition and the first one that I intentionally went to (probably because of all the advertising they had going on everywhere, I guess it paid off).
The festival is held in the centre of Ljubljana, right where the city farmers’ market is happening every weekend, so I’d passed by a couple of times before. Since it is quite popular, it was always too crowded for me to actually stop and take a look. Some of my friends suggested we go this year though, so we went.
Čokoljana is not so much a real festival than a cluster of stalls filled with different chocolate products, with some music and workshops for kids. I do hope the diluted chocolate the kids were using to paint with was expired or something, as making art with food seemed a bit wasteful to me. On the other hand, the chocolate businesses exhibiting on the stalls were more than worth a visit, because most of them were fancy confectioneries with premium chocolate stuff. It’s very convenient to have them all in one place, so I’d say the festival is a must stop for any chocolate lover.
There were all sorts of fantastical chocolate products, such as white chocolate with poppy seeds and honey, dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds and cumin, fancy types of truffles, a huge variety of pralines with exotic fancy fillings, chocolate letters and animals, cakes, pies and other creamy desserts, candy, chocolate covered fruit, chocolate fountains with fruits and marshmallows for dipping, hot chocolates and chocolaty coffees, a chocolate kebab, puffy pancakes, cotton candy, waffles with lavender and white chocolate and even chocolate burgers – the whole mixed grill.
The degustation system was quite good as well, as most of the vendors had small portions available for tastings at each stall, for a small price. We could pay with cash, which was nice, because usually these types of events in Slovenia have some kind of pre-bought token system. Most of the tasting prices ranged around 0.5 € to 2 € for a few pieces of chocolate or a truffle, and a up to 6 € for larger goodies like the chocolate burger (yes, it actually had a patty made of chocolate and the buns were waffles = pure joy). Granted, it is a bit expensive to pay 1 € for a single praline or truffle, but if you choose the ones with fancy filling combinations, it really is value for money and it’s not like you’re going be eating them every day. It was very hard to choose however, because everything looked so tasty! I was lucky that several of us went, so we could try all the different things without dying of acute sugar overdose.
Speaking of which, there was also a healthy chocolate and sugar-free products corner, easily recognisable by the lack of crowds. The products there actually looked quite tasty, but I guess healthy raw vegan chocolate, fruit bars and spreads are just not that interesting compared to the real thing, if you don’t have health or personal conviction restrictions to uphold.
Impressions from Čokoljana 2019
Besides chocolate, Čokoljana had some stalls with sandwiches and wine, as well as one with killer chilli jams and chilli mead, one with Slovenian-made kombucha drinks and one with Slovenian limited edition gin. We bought a bottle of gin with gin truffles and got a good deal for it too.
There was also another, smaller event happening nearby, something about honey, and they had some more stalls featuring local products there. Most of it was honey-related, but there were some vegetables and dairy products as well. So, me and the boyfriend now have a super tasty cheese with black pepper from a local farm in the fridge and I can’t write the word chocolate in a blog post again for a while. 🙂