With few vices left in my life, I can say with near certainty that you would have to forcibly pull that deep, dark chocolate from my fingers before I voluntarily give the stuff up. As vices go, it’s not the worst, so let’s take a few moments to celebrate this sweet confection.
If you aren’t an aficionado, you may not know that chocolate is serious business. Like coffee, it is cultivated, regional, and taken very, very seriously in certain circles.
I’ve had the chance to attend a few media events for the Dallas Chocolate Festival over the years and have learned a lot. The chocolate scene has its own vocabulary, evaluation procedures, and ratings system. In addition to the obvious qualities of taste and texture, there is origin, color, aroma, and presentation to consider.
The varieties are endless, and there really are a multitude of different flavors. And that’s just talking about the beans. When chocolatiers start adding in salt, fruit, nuts, sugar, toppings, and marshmallows and expanding to cookies, cakes, and sauces ... well, the possibilities are infinite.
If you are getting a chocolate twitch just from reading that last sentence, let me hook you up.
This year’s eighth annual Dallas Chocolate Festival is happening at the beginning of September at a fabulous new location (moving from Addison to the F.I.G. in downtown Dallas). Vendors include lots of local favorites such as Kate Weiser and Bisous Bisous, national makers including Guittard and Dick Taylor, and even international participants Hoja Verde and Pacari from Ecuador.
Founder Sander Wolf says a fun offering he’s looking forward to is the Chocolate Cake Walk at the Friday night event, “ ... like you had in elementary school, except instead of your mom’s cake (which I’m sure was delicious), we’ll have cakes you can win from Zach Townsend, The Fairmont, Haute Sweets Patisserie, FT33, and more.”
Last year’s event sold out. Tickets for this year’s weekend of chocolate immersion go on sale Aug. 10.
You will be in awe of all the chocolate in front of your face for three days. You will walk away with tons of samples and purchased favorites. You will get a certified chocolate high. You may even dream in chocolate. And, oh! What sweet dreams they will be.
Follow Stephanie’s living well musings and pursuits of happiness at lovageinc.com and on Instagram and Facebook @lovageinc.