This weekend, hundreds of chocoholics headed to the Miami Auto Museum for the Festival of Chocolate. Named one of the top ten chocolate festivals in the country, the festival brought about a series of local and national edible entertainment in the form of beer, ice cream, spa products, demos, and everything in between.
The Festival of Chocolate has been held in West Palm Beach and Tampa before, but this was the first time in Miami.
Attendees paid a $20 admission fee for the festival (quite the bargain considering admission to the museum alone is $25) and cashed in dollar bills (or credit cards) for chocolate currency. One dollar was the equivalent to one coin. Two coins got you one macaron, three were the equivalent of a cookie, and a caramel apple set you back eight coins. It did, however, force you to be selective with your coins; thus avoiding complete chocolate overdose.
Upon walking into the museum, positive facts about the effects of chocolate made me feel good about all the chocolate eating that was about to transpire.
Did you know chocolate was a natural anti-depressant and aphrodisiac? Now you know.
Tons of local artisans and chocolatiers hauled over goodies to the festival and made them available for purchase. Some were dishing out small bites to entice the palate. Cookielicious pastry shop up in Davie brought over their entire cookie selection.
Cacao in the flesh.
No chocolate festival is complete without a chocolate fountain.
Cacao Art had apple bourbon caramel jars available for 10 coins.
Kids were eating up the complimentary taste. Don't worry -- they're having the non alcoholic fleu de sol caramel variety (and loving it).
Next time someone tells you chocolate makes you fat, hit them with these skinny facts from BBC.
How about dem caramel covered apples?
My favorite purveyor of the day was local ice cream maker Chill-N. It brought its sophisticated equipment to make the liquid nitrogen delight in two flavors: Nutella swirl and Oreo chocolate.
How cute are these?
The Miami Auto Museum happens to have the largest James Bond exhibit in the country, with cars from every Bond film present. The festivals eclectic location made for a great day out, and gave you wiggle room to digest between all the eating.
Other Bond artifacts included martini glasses, the gun used in Octopussy, and some of his watches that doubled as spy gadgets.
A chocolate puzzle gave you insight to chocolate facts, like that chocolate helps suppress a cough, which just gives you another excuse to have it when you're sick.
Key lime pie mixed with real white chocolate fudge made for a helluva bite. Based in Fort Lauderdale, A Flair for Fudge ships nationally.
Miami Vice car in the house.
Marty McFly's time-traveling DeLorean was probably the highlight of the day for me.
That and winning the chopstick M&M competition. Basically, you had to be the fastest to pick up 25 colored peanut M&M's and place them in their respective colored bowls. It was a tie, really, but the person who got the same time as me was Chinese, so I call that a win.
Natural spa products from local company Spanoir Beauty included lip balm, moisturizers, chocolate soap bars, and cuticle oil.
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A variety of chocolate liqueurs were hidden in the back and available for samplings. The combination of banana beer and double chocolate literally got me chocolate wasted from just a small sip.
"I heard you have chocolate bacon" uttered a lady as she walked by us. We followed her and indeed found some bacon covered chocolate.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha