January 20, 2012 | 8:22am
Calling all chocoholics - Fairchild's sixth International Chocolate, Coffee and Tea Festival kicks off today and runs through Sunday. $25 admission gets you in on the 9:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. choco-scene at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables.
There's something for everyone.
The Chocolate Lover
Nibble on samples from a variety of artisan chocolatiers and take part in an entire weekend devoted to the brown, sugary smile inducer.
Sit in on lectures by Osman Ariel Gutierrez, a research geneticist, about the molecular breeding of cacao.... or Fairchild's own Noris Ledesma will discuss the chocolate persimmon and how it kept the Aztecs youngm Maybe try the history and future of the cacao crop by Dr. Howard Yana Shapiro from Mars Inc. ... we're going to have to be completely honest... these sound awesome.
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the production of chocolate from the experts at Mars, Inc - anything and everything from colonial-time to modern day production. We hear you can even taste test an ancient hot chocolate recipe. Yum! Five marshmallows, please.
The Nature Boy
Walk through the rainforest Choco-Walk - did we mention the conservatory and edible garden? Kids can get their "ChocoPassports" stamped along the way and learn about the relationship cacao trees have with the rainforest.
Buy your very own cacao tree (up to 25 bucks), add a little tender love and care and voila! Start making chocolate at home! Our guess is butter, sugar, cacao...?
The Beer Geek
Taste chocolate beers and beers that pair well with chocolate. Gold Coast Beverage's tent will be sampling Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brown, Bells Kalamazoo Stout, and Albita Turbo Dog.
Ohm... experience chocolate yoga (what could possibly be better?) for adults and Little Rina Yoga for the kids.
The Wish-I-Coulda-Been-A Top Chef
Chefs Allen Susser, Loren Pulitzer, Ze Carlos Jimenez, Franck Monnier, Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Chris Bulgarin and Norman Van Aken's executive pastry chef, Max Santiago will host the mother load of all things cooking, baking and chocolate Saturday and Sunday.