Around the country, the new adventure is a Festival of Chocolate! My husband David and I attended the one in January at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, and it was hands-down a winner for a sweet day out.
First there’s education about chocolate production, history trends, and, of course, the latest findings about chocolate and health. Jeff from Mississippi did a show and tell to explain cacao pods and beans. Upstairs actual machines and displays took cocoa beans from pod to product. Interesting displays included a chocolate wall-unit piece with two areas holding small TV sets, which looks like it would be fun to own and just cut off a piece every few hours and enjoy. Before going into the main room, we had to enter the Chocolate Decadence Raffle Drawing featuring gourmet chocolate creations from the participating chocolate vendors. No cost, it was part of the admission price of $10.
A pastry culinary school displayed their work — including a chocolate fish bowl. The smell of chocolate wafted from the room filled with chocolate vendors, signs designating their decadent product: Frostings, etc. Cakes Plus, Cupcake Heaven, Jeff’s Biscotti, Schaholad Chocolate Factory and more. Each booth supplied samples and products to sell for purchased cookie tokens (keeps the food vendors from having to deal with money).
At the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory booth, I stood in awe of the white-chocolate-covered strawberries, gourmet caramel apples, heart-shaped brownie bites, fudge cups and avalanche bark for people to snack on. On I went to the chocolate fountain, chocolate ice cream, even an offer to begin work hosting chocolate parties in homes.
A Kids-4-Chocolate Creative Workshop area makes it easy to think sweet treats with creative chocolate crafts, games and activities. Demonstrations by Award-Winning Pastry Chefs and many Best of Competitions throughout the day make for lots of fun. Don’t miss a Festival of Chocolate coming to your area.
Photos by David Lalmond