Were there ever three words that went better together than Chocolate World Expo?! That’s where I spent my weekend, and it was heavenly!
Here are some of the highlights:
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL: It’s a tie between the chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon Bites (www.baconbites.com) and the chocolate-covered picles from Picklelicious (www.picklelicious.com).
The Bacon Bites booth was decorated with adorable stuffed pigs (their mascot) and the pickle people had a live mascot in a pickle suit roaming the hall giving out samples. Lots of fun!
BEST PRODUCT NAME: Again it’s a toss-up. We bought some wonderful spicy pineapple salsa at Tortured Orchard (www.torturedorchard.com) and I also loved “Fretzels.” No–they’re not worried pretzels–they’re hand-dipped pretzels made by chef Jill FRECHTMAN. (Get it? Visit her at www.fretzels.com)
NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION: The expo organizers didn’t forget our four-legged friends. The Spoil Me Rotten Dog Biscuit Company had plenty to choose from. (And they have a Facebook page, so you can give them a thumb or paw up!)
HEALTHIEST: Surprise–Chocolate can be healthy! Founded by Vanessa Barg, a nutitionist who wanted to make sure her clients didn’t have to give up their favorite foods, the company Gnosis (www.GnosisChocolate.com) employs such exotic ingredients as herbs from Himalaya, goji berries, and algae! Vanessa isn’t known as Chocolate Girl for nothing!
FRIENDLIEST EMPLOYEES: The folks from Pika’s Farm Table came to the expo with chocolate-covered waffles, quiches, potpies, ansd the friendliest employees imaginable. Everything tastes better when it’s served with a smile! (A big shout-out to everyone at the Gnosis booth too–their big, healthy smiles were great to see!)
PRETTIEST: Rogue Confections are edible works of art! See for yourself at www.RogueConfections.com
HOMIEST: If you can’t get to Auntie Els in Sloatsburg, NY, you can visit their Facebook page for some of the yummiest candies and baked goods around.
BEST FOR BREAKFAST: Some people might go for the crunchy granola in a bunch of great flavors from Platte Grove Naturals. A more whimsical choice might be the maple-flavored cotton candy from Breezie Maples Farm. (OK–I know you’d never eat cotton candy for breakfast, but it’s tempting. They make lots of other maple products too!)
OTHER DELICIOUS STUFF: Too much too mention, but check out 5th Ave. Chocolatiere, the Pastryarch (he’s very cute!), Pittsburgh Goodies, and the Chocolate Swirl, among others.
Vendors–if I didn’t mention you, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you. Feel free to leave a comment below and let my readers know your location or Web site!