Monday, December 6, 2010

NYC Chocolate Show 2010

I went to the NYC Chocolate Show in 2008, right after I had moved to NYC, and after the event, my blood was pulsing with cacao beans.  My head was just dizzy after eating incredible amounts of chocolate for two straight hours.

In 2010, I was ready to repeat the whole affair again.  It was held  at the Metropolitan Pavilion this year, a smaller spot than the Piers in 2008, but sufficiently jammed with chocolate artisans.

Here are snapshots from some of my samples (some of which all blur together now at this point, unfortunately):
Crushed espresso beans covered in chocolate and cocoa dust.  Looks like a chocolate everlasting gobstopper, but did not last but ten seconds in my chompers.  Super coffee-y.

Some of the best offerings at The Chocolate Show are the French truffles that melt effortlessly in your mouth and are sublimely smooth.  I always buy a couple of boxes of these.  You can grab them from Whole Foods + World Market too.  J once ate a whole box of these in one sitting and got disgustingly sick and refuses to eat these ever again.  Don't be like him: eat these in moderation.

Crazy chocolate caramel popcorn from 2 Chicks with Chocolate that also features Pop Rocks.  They also made this great hot chocolate martini.  Their offering was not the purest, most socially responsible of the show, but was some of the most fun, catering perfectly to girls' night out type ladies.

Pure hazelnut cream served in a toothpaste style tube.  100% hazelnutty.  Diana woulda loved this Nutella on steroids.

One company served chocolate elixir / teas.  The samples were of their aphrodisiac / spicy chocolate drink.  All the old biddies were loving this, and told Thanan and me to go to a dark alley after we tried our samples.  Dirty old biddies.

Chocolate covered Cheerios from Jacques Torres!  I liked these - what's not to like?

Super yummy toffee covered nuts on chocolate bark.

Dark chocolate was definitely 75-85% of the show; the overriding theme from the different vendors was socially responsible, pure, raw, vegan-friendly dark chocolate.  Although I am not usually a dark chocolate fan, I found a few types that I did enjoy, and will look to buy them for "healthy snacks" (any reason to eat chocolate without guilt!).  Kallari is the brand I ended up liking best, and is available at Whole Foods markets.  I can't tell if it's the chocolate I like more or the story itself: Kallari is produced by a coalition of 850 indigenous Kichwa families in Ecuador.  The vendor described how these families used to sell their prized cacao beans (which has won esteemed prizes in France) to European chocolatiers for $1/lb.  Now they develop their own chocolate, which is more pure and rich, being direct from the source, and the people are now able to enjoy 100% of the profits to fully support their communities instead of resorting to logging in the rainforests.

My other favorite part of the Chocolate Show are the cooking demonstrations from well known and respected chefs and bakers.  Above is Nick Malgieri, author of at least ten baking books and teaches at the French Culinary Institute.

Nick made a hazelnut tart that resembled pecan pie, but with hazelnuts.  Was lovely.

I also caught the chef from Baked who recently appeared on Top Chef: Just Desserts.  He described how crazy the reality show was, but that he would definitely do it again.  Apparently they are not allowed to have any recipes at all on the show: everything had to be from memory!

He made this delicious holiday bundt cake that had three kinds of ginger and was topped with a chocolate sauce.  I loved this.  I am inspired to 1) make bundt cakes and 2) go to Baked and eat everything.

Not shown is Mary's from Japan, from whom I ended up buying a box of wasabi covered chocolate for Greeshma.  It was the most unique flavoring of the show - sweet yet oddly savory.  I think that describes Greeshma also :).

NYC Chocolate Show 2010 did not disappoint; it definitely ranks in the top food events for me in the city!

1 comment:

  1. pure. hazelnut. cream. ?!?! sign me up!! i also loooove bundt cakes. and i tried that wasabi! and it was indeed just as you described :)