Entrance to the festival was inexpensive and went to a number of great causes. The only caveat to admission was all attendees were required to relinquish any carrot sticks*, low calorie sugars and/or imitation butter substitutes. Inside were a number of vendors selling the best of the best chocolate delicacies. From hand dipped strawberries, bananas, grapes and even cheesecake to the richest of truffles it was truly an experience requiring anyone to have a surplus of insulin.
Even the simplest of cakes came with a complexity of flavors and recipe directions. In one instance I was asked simply, “Would you like to see this cake’s recipe?” Despite my past baking follies (overcooked cupcakes, undercooked sheet cakes, 3 inch “caked-on” residue) I felt confident in gazing at the directions.
The piece of paper she produced was ripped, folded and tarnished with flour and probably egg yoke. The print was rushed and certainly gave the impression this product was truly homemade. Additionally, not one word of the recipe was in English, au contraire, it was all in French. That’s not to say I didn’t try to read it. Unfortunately the few words I could have recognized; Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa, and Croissant were not used in making this cake and rendered the recipe useless to this French fry eating, non-French speaking American. Needless to say, the cake was auctioned off for 30 dollars and I’m sure it was “délicieux”.
The festival encompasses three days of chocolate as well as chocolate themed events. Friday and Saturday night elegant dinners were prepared and once again, ticket sales went to deserving charities. For the children, pudding-eating contests were held through the day Saturday and winners went home with a Chocolate Festival t-shirt. Personally, I hold a spot in my heart for any parent having to supervise a child who just consumed a couple pounds of chocolate pudding. Accordingly, the amount of pudding left on just one contestant’s face afterward could have filled a couple pie tins by itself (see pictures).
For a three day festival, there were easily enough activities to stuff an entire weekend. I still have a couple events that need to be included in next year’s weekend recipe; “Chocolate Around the World” and “Chocolate Spa”, but just a visit to the convention center alone left me with a sugar rush that should last me through the week…now then, where’s that French to English dictionary?
*fruits/vegetable would only be accepted provided they were only used for chocolate immersion