Sunday, April 13, 2008

chocolate hangover

i didn't think it was possible. i really didn't. however, after sampling over two dozen kinds of chocolates this afternoon at the sf chocolate salon event, i have obtained a complete chocolate hangover.

did i mention that i didn't have any breakfast or lunch today? at the time, i was concerned that by eating breakfast or lunch, i would take up valuable tummy bandwith that could be used for chocolate. i now know that was (as DB would say) an absolutely "wacka-doodle-do" idea. oh well. i did it. i'm hung over and it was totally worth it.

i overheard some folks say as they were leaving the event that they only spent 20 minutues at the salon because it was only housed in two rooms.

my experience was quite different.

by the time i got past the gatekeepers into this tiny event, i was hungry and ready to hit the chocolate... and i must say, i hit it pretty hard. i mean, why not? there was a lot of it at the event...

after spending a couple of hours in those two relatively small rooms, i have come to the conclusion that those 20 minute folks

a) weren't determined enough (to elbow their way to the front of the booths)
b) must not be obsessed with chocolate (well, at least not enough to forgo any personal space issues)
c) obviously didn't wait in the hot sun for 30+ minutes to just get in the freaking door

trader joe's was one of the vendors at the event and in their typical upbeat philosophy ....they were the only vendor (that i saw anyway) to hand out chocolate to those baking in line. good pr move on their part. despite the good pr move, i felt perfectly comfortable skipping tj's booth since i already buy chocolate from them (i.e. the peanut butter cups). i also felt perfectly justified skipping sampling at the scharffenberger and e.guittard booth...although the scharffenberger booth lady was really nice. having done my fair share of booth duty in the past, i have to give her credit for being really nice. i doubt today's crowd was very easy to manage. i also skipped sampling at the vendors that were more "packagers" and not really chocolatiers.

why did i skip these booths? this goes back to my tummy bandwith reasoning...must not fill up tummy with chocolate that i know that i have already tried (scharffenberger) or i'm not interested in trying (packagers). there were also a few vendors that relied heavily upon their marketing or novelty factor, such as the obama chocolates.

after trying well over two dozen chocolates today, i must say that there were a few standouts. interestingly enough, the standouts are aligned with some of the trendy chocolate pairings these days. i'm talking about the trends of pairing chocolate with lavender, salty caramel, and tea.

the chocolate offerings I had from Coco Delice were my favorite. i tasted three of their chocolates: organic sea salt & caramel, banana walnut, and lavender meade.
i tasted these mid-way through today's chocolate adventure and these were the only ones that i actually said "WOW". mind you, i actually said this out loud.

Chuao's ChocoPods are also very yummy and Chuao is offering a 15% off of web orders until may 13th (coupon code: SFSALON). i've had them before, but i didn't realize that they also had other offerings.

Christopher Elbow chocolates were also very very good.

no surprises there. i've been buying Christopher Elbow from coco bella for some time. i just kind of ignore the fact that they are from kansas city, mo. alright, i can be snobby. i admit it. so there.

anyway, the offerings from Jade Chocolates were also very good.

their chocolate "fans" are similar to what i typically think of as chocolate bark (that is just a descriptive term...and does not reflect anything to do with taste). they also had beautifully dipped dried mango slices that were shaped into orchids. i haven't seen anything like that before.

surprisingly, vendors were also providing samples a couple of non-chocolate options. Schoggi was sampling a lemon-tart-like-sweet that was so good, that I am absolutely going to try their new joint on yerba buena. Although Charles Chocolates weren't sampling these pate de fruit...i couldn't resist buying them since i've never seen anything like it

wine infused pate de fruit it sounds very intriguing...i'll let you know later how they taste.

well, i am going to sign off... drink a lot of water and actually grab something to eat that doesn't involve cacao.

1 comment:

TasteTV said...

We always loved this review! This year (2009) at the 3rd Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon there is more space, cooler rooms, more chocolatiers, and even someone who will sell non-chocolate sandwiches if you need them (Rigolo Cafe)