SEVERAL gastronomic delights made from Davao's famous chocolate were highlighted during the annual Davao Chocolate Festival at SM City Davao-Annex.
The exposition, which ran from October 12 to 15, featured 22 makers of delectable chocolate goodies and cacao by-products. These included the mainstays Chocolate Bean, Comval Tropical Harvest, Malagos Chocolate, Cidami, Rosario Delicacies, Cacao De Davao, Puratos, Aromacology, Nutri Arch, Fedco, Chocolate de San Isidro, and Lara Mia, and new exhibitors Cacao Culture, Chocoloco Inc., Auro Chocolate, CaptDu's Cacao, A&V, Johanns, Milky, Bright Side, Confex& Co., Sweets of Tirzah and Yolks.
Among the mouth-watering chocolate products displayed at the four-day fair were sikwate (native chocolate drink), pastries, ready-to-eat cacao nibs, and everybody's favorite, chocolate bars.
Apart from the palate-satisfying offerings which the mall-goers can enjoy, they were also given the chance to learn new recipes using the world-renowned chocolate of the region. On Saturday, the chefs from Marco Polo Davao shared some tips on how to make the sumptuous durian chocolate cake.
On Sunday, kids and kids-at-heart were treated to the exciting journey of chocolate-making, popularly known as the bean to bar process.
The Davao Chocolate Festival is said to be one of many proofs that the region is indeed the cacao and chocolate hub of the country.
In June this year, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 11 approved a resolution declaring Davao Region as the cacao and chocolate capital of the Philippines. This was made upon the recommendation of the Economic Development Committee (EDC).
It is worth noting that the region produces at least 80 percent of the country's annual cacao production.
Meanwhile, amid the increasing production since seven years ago, the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (Cidami) is projecting that the global demand for cacao will reach 4.7 million to 5 million metric tons three years from now. This will then reportedly cause a deficit of 1 million MT in global supply.
With the promising future of the industry, it is regarded as among the priority industry clusters of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with Davao as the anchor region.
The Davao Chocolate Festival is a project of SM City Davao and Cidami, and supported by DTI and the City Government of Davao.
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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 20, 2017.
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