Only two more posts about the Fancy Food Show, then I will shut up about it. I am sorry about the serious lack of photos, but no photos were allowed on the show floor. Of course, no wheeled carts were allowed, and no removing samples from the premises, but we saw plenty of both those things going on...in fact I just finished the last of my chocolate samples tonight.
I tasted some BAD chocolate, let me tell you. There are a lot of people out there who seem to think "Hey, if that Scharffenberger dude can make chocolate, so can I!" Wrong. Those Scharffen Berger guys were chocolate geniuses, and most people aren't. Put down the cacao beans and step away from the grinder.
But the good news is I tasted some stunning chocolates, too. Godiva and Valrhona were not among them - I passed by both booths, sated by five hours of sampling other things. Besides, I already KNEW how they tasted.
My favorite for both flavor AND packaging was the lovely Mariebelle. . The Aztec Dark hot chocolate was unbelievably rich, even when made with just water, not milk. Perfect chocolate flavor balance. I think this will be my mail-order gift of choice for a long time to come.
The beautiful almost-Tiffany blue and brown tins don't hurt, either.
Venchi Chocolates come in some interesting flavors like Spicy Chili Pepper and Absinthe. The Spicy Chili is spicy indeed, and the Absinthe has a unique, intriguing fennel-like flavor. Their chocolate is very good, and the odd flavors just added to the fun. I tried their 85% cacao Cuor di Cacao, which I probably wouldn't eat every day, but for a real cacao lover, it just might do the trick. Also full of those antioxidants everyone is always talking about.