On a beautiful, lightly raining San Francisco spring day last weekend, a Media Owls contingent (Small Fry and I) attended the 3rd Annual International Chocolate Salon. “Chocolate aficionados, fanatics, buyers and journalists can experience the finest in artisan, gourmet & premium chocolate in one of the world’s great culinary metropolitan areas” was the clarion call.
More than 50 talented confectioners hawking the very best they had to offer in chocolates, wines, sauces, even skincare.
Fort Mason was absolutely packed. Maybe a little too packed. I bought my ticket early so it was $20 instead of the $25 charged at the door, but I’d gladly pay double if it would cut down on the masses. The chocolatiers would cut up a truffle, say, into minuscule tidbits and everyone would crowd madly around to get a sliver. It made me think of pigeons jostling each other for breadcrumbs. Small Fry and I certainly had our share — amazing how fast one feels stuffed while partaking in teeny tiny bites.
Some faves standing out in the cocoa blur: Van Gogh Chocolate Vodka (www.vangoghvodkda.com) – yummm. And Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur also a winner. Coco Delice Fine Chocolates were sublime. I had tasted several others by the time I found Coco Delice, and you’d think I was chocolated-out. But Master Chocolatier and Owner Dennis Kearney outdid himself. Sweet Beauty Organic Chocolate Spa, a company out of Seattle (sweetbeautyspa.com) drew a crowd. Owner Lisa Schafer has created a scrumptious, handcrafted line of spa and beauty products based on pure chocolate: Chocolate Milk Bath, body scrubs, lotions, cream, body wash, masques, lip balms, along with an all-natural line for little people.
Here’s my dear one having “just one more” taste of an outlandishly rich chocolate dipping sauce: