This weekend was the 10th annual New York Chocolate Show, and I was a part of it...at least for an hour. I heard about it the past two years we've been here, and never got over to it. Then someone told me yesterday it's going on until Sunday, so I called Ed to see if he could watch the girls Saturday morning. Things are relatively light at work this week, and the beauty is that Ed loves the chance to spend time home alone with the kids, so everybody wins (but especially me!)
I left home about 9:30am and an hour subway ride, 15 minute walk, and 30 minute wait in line later, I slapped down my $28 cash and entered Chocodise. There were 91 booths, and all but a few info booths and water stations were filled with chocolatiers from around the world. And they ALL HAD SAMPLES.
Why else would you go? Yes, I and approximately 100,000 other people were there for the samples! Trays, bowls, platters, bags and plates lined the front tables of booths offering cocoa delights of all colors and flavors. After about 5 or 6 intensely rich pieces, however, my palate and stomach agreed I wouldn't make it all the way down Bittersweet Boulevard at this pace, not to mention Cocoa Bean Street, Chocolate Chip Drive, Sweets Avenue or Quetzacoatl Street. In need of something to collect my samples in for later, I stopped at the NewTree booth, because it had oh so many interesting-looking samples and it was also close by. I tasted a few - delicious! - and bought a $7 samplers box of small bars, answering YES! when asked if I wanted a bag. From then on I ate about 1 in 5 of the pieces I passed, keeping the others safe in my bag.
There were brownies, fudge, truffles, bark, sauces, ganaches, flourless cakes, hot chocolate, fondues and chocolate fountains. I think the most interesting one I tried was a Smokey Blue Truffle from Lillie Belle Farms - "the perfect combination of the Rogue Creamery's award winning Smokey Blue Cheese, organic milk chocolate and toasted almonds." It was surprisingly good, especially considering I don't like blue cheese. I also enjoyed chocolate dipped potato sticks but skipped the chocolate sardines!
There was a children's corner in the back, with activities scheduled throughout the day, including chocolate thumbprint art, but one look at the poor saps trying to force strollers through the oppressively thick crowds confirmed I'd made the right choice by coming alone.
After about an hour I'd stopped at most of the booths and was feeling lightheaded from the crowds and aromas. My final purchase was a bottle of dark chocolate dessert syrup from Guittard. Then I hit the restrooms (I'd been drinking a lot of water between tastes), and called it a day. A very good day.
I'll probably never get the chance to attend the Chocolate Show again, but as with most things I've done in New York, at least I can say I did it once. As for those of you whose future may still see you there, I offer one piece of advice: bring a ziploc!