Cuckoo for Cocoa

People who don’t like chocolate are never to be trusted. What’s not to like? The intoxicating aroma of cocoa, the sweet, creamy way chocolate becomes one with your tongue, and the swirl that coats your esophagus as you ingest — it’s practically sexual. In fact, chocolate has aphrodisiac properties induced by phenylethylamine, a chemical that produces love-like sensations. Humans have an innate yearning for chocolate, and anybody who says otherwise is lying. How else can you explain 12,000 people who are expected to show up at Fairchild Tropical Garden for the International Chocolate Festival, which will also feature coffee and tea? It’s like a Rolling Stones concert featuring U2 and Dave Mathews Band. Friday through Sunday, chocolate freaks will descend on the botanical garden to taste mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate malted buttercream; almond cannoli with chocolate mousse and Grand Marnier cream; extreme-chocolate almond biscotti; and dozens of other chocolate, coffee, and tea treats. Renowned chefs (including pastry chef Hedy Goldmsith from Michael’s Genuine, Allen Susser from Chef Allen’s, and Norman Van Aken from Norman’s 180) will provide demonstrations and tastings, while learned men will give lectures on such topics as “The Science of Cacao” and “Culture of Chocolate.” There will also be kid-friendly talks and demos as well as something called Choco Yoga. Sounds sticky.
Jan. 21-23, 9:30 a.m., 2011
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Sebastian del Mármol

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