The Outsider's Insider

A Guide to Living in Yerevan

Chocoholics in Yerevan- The Adventures of Lori and Kirstin October 17, 2010

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I wanted to give you a run down of the crazy adventure of attempting to get some of the world’s biggest chocolate bar.  I was joined in my adventure by my dear friend Kirstin…WHAT A DAY!

4:00pm-  Arrive in Republic Square.  No sign of the big bar anywhere,  but we are definitely in the right place.  There’s a huge stage with the pink Grand Candy logo, loud music and children practicing an Armenian folk dance on stage.  We begin trying to figure out where they will set up the candy bar.  Speculation begins.


We are in the right place....for sure.


4:30pm -Police finally close off the square to traffic.  This is a definite sign of progress.  It poured down rain all morning, but now sun is beating down on us….shade is too far away (we are afraid to miss anything), layers starting to be peeled off.  Still speculating on eventual location of the chocolate bar.

5:00pm – Progress and excitement!  Twenty psychedelic Grand Candy vans pull into square.  Expectations that something will happen soon are high.  Drivers emerge from vans….stand around smoking.  Nothing is happening. Crowd is really starting to gather, we are sweating.  We begin seriously constructing theories of how this all will go down.


This seems significant.




Psychedelic Grand Candy Vans


I’m waiting….oh, and this jacket is too HOT!

5:30pm- Drivers suddenly gather around someone who seems to be the boss (he’s highly agitated….which is a dead giveaway).  I attempt to translate for Kirstin.  He’s talking so fast that I only catch ‘6:30’, ‘across’, ‘there are 1 million’, ‘people coming’.  Not a successful translation.



He seems to be the man in charge.


5:45pm- Vans begin to move to different places.  They seem to be spreading out around the edge of the square.  Suddenly more police (very young ones, they look like they are barely old enough to drive) come and begin to surround the vans.  Small lines begin to form near the vans.  We finally arrive at the conclusion that there will be no HUGE chocolate bar.  They have broken it up and will be passing out pieces from the vans.  Disappointment sets in.  We will not get the photo-op we were hoping for.  We choose a van with the shortest line and step in about 20 people back.  All seems orderly.



Hmmmm.....What is going on here?


6:00pm- Standing in line.  Everyone seems patient, UNTIL….the line has to break up to allow an ambulance to park.  The line (in pretty typical Armenian style) begins to disintegrate slowly.  At this point , I still  feel that maybe we can keep our place in line.



This line isn't lookin' so good.


6:05pm- Other vans open sliding doors.  Our van seems to have a problem….door is stuck.  They open the back doors of the van….chaos is beginning.  They finally manage to open the side door.  We are suddenly being crushed on all sides.  Some children fall down….this doesn’t seem safe.  They are handing out styrofoam cups over the crowd.  There is no line, no order….people are pushing from all sides. I manage to get my hands on a cup and push my way out the back of the crush of people.  Relieved, but a little shaky.   We can see how panic can start in large crowds.


This may not be the best system.



Being crushed


6:10pm- Open cup….not disappointed!  HUGE chunks of dark chocolate inside.  First taste….highly satisfactory.  Delicious.  There was a struggle, but the dream finally came true!


I'm impressed.






Ready for the first taste!

After trying our chocolate, we looked around and realized that we had chosen the only line that was in chaos.  All of the other vans had long lines, yes, but they were fairly orderly.  It was all because of the ambulance and the stuck door. But, it was worth it.  We had a great time and got some delicious dark chocolate (it was a little part of Guinness Book history).  Thanks Kirstin for providing both good company and most of these great pictures!!!!



The Biggest Chocolate Bar in the World…My Dream Come True October 14, 2010

Correction:  I originally posted the time as 6:30pm, but have learned that it is at 4!!!  SORRY!

As many of you probably already know, Grand Candy has produced the world’s largest chocolate bar.  I am a self-professed chocolate addict, so just thinking of this amazing amount of chocolate all in one place makes my mouth water!

Here are the record-setting details…

-It is made entirely of dark chocolate (so, it’s healthy…right?)

-25-centimetre-thick (10-inch-thick)

-weighs 4,410 kilograms (9,720 pounds)
-measures 5.60 metres (18.4 feet) by 2.75 metres (nine feet).


World's Biggest Chocolate Bar


I have been hearing for a while that we would all be able to sample it for ourselves, and today I received the details from the Bari News (US embassy newsletter).

wanting a piece of the Guinness Book of World Records
biggest chocolate bar made by Armenia’s Grand Candy Factory,
please go to Republic Square on Saturday October 16th starting at 4pm. Grand Candy will be giving out pieces of the
chocolate bar followed by a concert and fireworks. Everyone
is welcome!