Saturday, October 8, 2016

Here's what goes on at the Big Chocolate Show. Get ready.

Yesterday we got a sneak peek at The Big Chocolate Show, which is going on this weekend in Chelsea. I'm about to show you so many photos of chocolate, so I hope that you're not hungry at this moment, or that you have a giant bag of chocolate chips to snack on as you work your way through this post. Or that you have tickets to the Big Chocolate Show tomorrow, so you don't have to be too jealous of us.

Here's what's went down:

Firstly, here's Drizzle, which makes "chocolate fashionistas"--little mannequins in chocolate dresses. this is all chocolate. Even the zippers. Moran Etstein, the artist, gave me a piece of the sculpting chocolate she makes so I could play around with it. (Well, she gave me two, because I accidentally ate the first one before I even started to play with it.)

Next up, John & Kira's. How beautiful are these truffles?!

Christopher Elbow, I'm obsessed with.

Here's 2Beans' booth. As you know, we try to single-handedly keep them in business. Like the guy who was exhibiting here recognized David just from how often David is in the store. They carry pretty much everything one could want in this world, assuming "one" is "me."

Harper Macaw is based in D.C., so they make some appropriately political bars, which their copy described as "wildly delectably, high electable." So if you like good packaging and good rhymes, these are the bars for you.

Gotham Chocolates are new. They're made by the pastry chef at Gotham Bar & Grill, which I've never been to but apparently has a famous flourless chocolate cake made by this same pastry chef, which I am now desperate to try.

We love Marou. Not only did they have their regularly wonderful bars here, but they also had brought in flavored bars from their store and factory in Saigon. The only way to get these bars outside of Vietnam would be to buy them at the Big Chocolate Show. Which I wanted to do, but they were $15 apiece, so I restrained myself.

Pacari has terrific bars, and everything they do is made entirely in Ecuador. Pacari is always there for you when you need them, and they do especially good raw bars.

Glenmade's chocolate bars had an INTENSE flavor.

Fruition was lovely. They're based upstate in NY, and they told us they're having a fifth anniversary party and open house on November 5, if you want to escape the city for a day and eat some chocolate.

These did not photograph as well as they taste. They are chocolate tasting cups from Chocolat Moderne, and you put each one into your mouth and get this great, complex explosion of different flavors. Like a truffle, sort of, but in a novel shape.

Ecuador had a big area with a number of different small chocolatiers. It was remarkable how different everyone's goods tastes: even though all the chocolates were from the same origin country, they were from different areas and different plantations, and that resulted in a huge variety of taste. I think it's really cool that Ecuador supports its chocolate makers like this, and now I want to go on a trip down there just to visit all of these plantations. Please check them all out:

MarieBelle is of course NYC-based, and they've recently opened a second shop, in addition to their one in Soho, called "Cacao Market," out in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. (It's on Guernsey Street. I have lived in this city for a decade and I still have no idea whether Guernsey is technically in Williamsburg or technically in Greenpoint. I may never know.)

We bought bars at Raaka, because of course we did. Some ghost chili pepper bars for a friend of David's, and a maple and nibs bar, for me.

I love Tumbador's chocolate stuff, like their Devil's Food Cake and their peanut butter cups. David is a chocolate bar purist, but I love chocolate confections. Also I boughht a bar of their graham cracker spread, which shockingly has no chocolate in it, but which I think will go well in the batch of lemon verbana ice cream I'm working on.

These are some French chocolate liquors that were actually really good. Often I find chocolate-flavored liquor to be too sweet and syrupy, but that was not the case here. The Chocolat Royal was especially delicious. They suggested pouring it over ice cream, but honestly I think I'd just drink it. Why complicate matters.

Eclat is classic and classy. Check out their sea salt caramel truffles.

You know what nobody was interested in? Booths that did not have chocolate.

Rose Street Patisserie is from Minneapolis, and they just started shipping their goods! This is an exciting moment in the life of any local chocolate-maker.

I love TCHO always.

Truffle Shots are just the inside of a truffle. Like, the gooey bit without any of that hard chocolate shell to struggle through. You eat these with a little spoon. It's a family-run business, and they have dozens of different designs and flavors. This is impressive familial teamwork. If I told any member of my family that I wanted to go into business making truffle shots, they'd be like, "you're on your own, kid."

Chocolate and Star Wars apparently go hand-in-hand. These are from FIKA and Jon Goode, respectively.

Jon Goode also offered some chocolate vulvas, which is not something you see every day.

Rawclates is healthier than I need chocolate to be, since it uses coconut sugar and is raw and vegan etc. I would describe this as "dinner chocolate." Then you can have a Truffle Shot for "dessert chocolate."

Indi Chocolate is from Seattle, and they had mostly brought cocoa butter hand lotion and chapstick and stuff. But they also had a bag of chocolate chai tea, which I bought because I figure there is little that couldn't benefit from being infused with chocolate chai flavoring.

Sugarcube is a dessert and coffee bar in Queens. I've never been there, but I want to. The owner is an architect, so he 3-D prints chocolate items in a MakerBot. Legitimately I do not understand how this works, and I may have just mis-described it all. But I saw the products and they are extraordinary. I asked if I could touch one, and then I realized they were works of art and I would definitely either drop it or eat it by accident. Anyway, here's an example of a chocolate door he made:

BOTTOM LINE: If you don't go to the Big Chocolate Show tomorrow, you are a fool. The end.