Monday, May 20, 2013

MELT: Chocolate Festival at Immigration Museum

I've found that although many I know a lot of people with a 'sweet tooth', I've found that within this spectrum, you can get quite a lot of varieties of said 'sweet tooth'. 

I have friends who are all about boiled lollies and jellybeans, some who are cream and cake aficionados, ice-cream fanatics, or just all about the chocolate. Sure, there's some crossovers, but for the most part, I think people have particular sweets that they gravitate to more than others.

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For me, my sweet vice definitely has to be chocolate. Bags of lollies will stay uneaten in our house for months, but a box of chocolates? A week. If it's lucky. 

So if you're a chocolate lover like me, you should definitely be checking out the Melt: Chocolate Festival at the Immigration Museum this Sunday the 26th of May, from 11am until 4pm.

Last week I got to have a sneak peek at some of the delicious offerings that will be available on festival day and also get to meet the people behind the chocolate. 

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What I love about the Immigration Museum's 'sweet' festivals is that the focus is not just on the food but of the cultures behind them as well (naturally!). At Melt, members from the Belgium, Mexican and Portugese communities in Melbourne come together to showcase the best of the chocolate goodies from their cultures and share the stories behind them. 

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We met Stefaan who is originally from Belgium and the owner of Van Nunen Chocolates. He has been making chocolate for the past 23 years and crafts just the most beautiful chocolates, so smooth and rich. I was particularly enamoured by the salted caramel chocolate, which was filled to the brim and was dense and creamy, rather than runny. Apparently this is because Stefaan actually tempers his salted caramel as well! 

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From Mexico we got to try some of their concha's, which is a sweet bread (which is actually a sweet bread, not of the meaty variety!), served warm, which was particularly delightful on the rather cool evening it was. These smelled simply amazing with the distinct aroma of cinnamon hanging in the air. 

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Apparently these are usually made by the men, as there is a lot of physical labour involved with making these, at 3am in the morning and served as breakfast. Someone find me a Mexican husband (but don't tell Brad)! 

With the concha's, we were also served champurrado, a Mexican style hot chocolate, made with milk, water, chocolate and cornflour, which again smelt and tasted of cinnamon and was perfect for dunking the concha's in. Totally yum!

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The colourful brigadeiros from Portugal are hard to take your eyes off! Although chocolate is the most traditional flavour, we were also treated to coconut and strawberry flavours, which were just delightful! 

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Usually these are apparently served at birthday's or weddings with the celebratory cake. Personally I'd be totally skipping the cake and tucking into these! During the Melt Festival, you will have the opportunity to try making some of these lovely goodies yourself…

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…or you could decorate a Mexican chocolate skull! Typically the skulls are used during the Day of the Dead celebrations, and as such, we were encouraged to make them as colourful and cheery as possible. To the Mexicans, death is not something to be feared of, but to be celebrated instead. Apparently it's a sweet gesture to write someone's name on the forehead of the skull and give it to that person as a gift!

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I think I got a bit carried away with mine. But he was delicious!

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At the Melt Festival this Sunday, you'll be able to try all of these and much more! We were told that there would be Belgian waffles and chocolate fountains, that you can actually dunk stuff into to munch on. Say what?!

On top of that, there will be series of talks, including the history of chocolate, the process of making chocolate and the ethics and sustainability factor of making chocolate, the latter of which will be with Fair Trade Australia and New Zealand and A Heart of Chocolate. Not just delicious, but it promises to be an educational day too!

Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes as well, as you can expect a bit of Brazillian dancing, a Mariachi band and some traditional Mexican dancers as well! Got to work off all that chocolate somehow right? 

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Sounds all great? Want to learn more about chocolate in these cultures? Great! Make sure you purchase your tickets online, or by phone (13 11 02) in advance so you can skip the queues on the day (which there will be I'm sure!). At only $10 for adults (free for kids!), it'll make for a great, and very sweet, way to spend your Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday May 26th, 11am to 4pm
Adults $10, Children and concession free entry (workshops and showbags extra)

Immigration Museum
400 Flinders Street


  1. This post is quite simply, death by chocolate. Haha! Most definitely our type of exhibition. There was a gingerbread one at Christmas last year, took so much will power not to eat it up! This looks great, we had this event marked into our diaries some weeks ago. Would you know -- the website says very little, but is the admission fee merely admission or sampling also?

    1. Hehe, definitely sounds like it is your kind of exhibition!

      From what I understand there will be tastings and samples available at all the stands, but you can buy more if you like what you're munching on! :)

  2. Haha DEM LIPS! I'm so going to this =] I went to the last immigration museum sweets event thanks to your post on that as well! Too cute <3

    1. Hehe, so cute right? They're pretty tasty too ;)

      I unfortunately have something on so I won't be able to attend! Hope you enjoy this Sunday though!

  3. Mexican sweetbread was my favourite... yum yum yum!

    1. It was too good! Have something on this Sunday otherwise I'd totally be back for more nomnomnom

  4. What an awesome night right? Loved all the chocolates we got :) LOL Funny you say there's different spectrums to having a sweet tooth ~ I simply can't put down what I like most and what's my weakness LOL because if it's sweet I'd like it :P

    The Brazillion brigadeiros were my favourite!

    1. It was too good! Haha, I guess most people I know have things they generally prefer more than others, but you're the dessert queen so you'll have it all! ;)

  5. Thank you for the extra info. the website doesnt say alot at all so thanks again :)

    1. You're most welcome! If you go I hope you have a great Sunday! :)

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  7. Chocolates looks very attractive hope its taste is also yummy.....Mexican sweet bread is always one of my favorites. thanks for sharing this delicious post...I am also looking for sending diwali chocolate gifts for my brother in US. This blog give me Great advice!!