joy magnetism: Can you feel it, sugar high!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can you feel it, sugar high!

Magnet #618 - Chocolat Besnier Le Mans Ad

Just spent several minutes online trying to find out more about this magnet. All anyone really has is that it's a vintage chocolate ad from many years ago, artist unknown. Annnnd, that's all I got. I want to say I either picked this up at the Union Square magnet guy...or the Chocolate Show.

For the purposes of this magnetpost, let's go with the latter.

The Chocolate Show is celebrating its 12th year, which I can't believe. I've been on and off, over the years, though it's been a few years since my last visit. Indeed, I almost missed it this year, until a friend of mine pointed out it was this weekend. Yay for last-minute tickets, I guess.

It's interesting to see how it's changed and stayed the same over the years.

I suppose nothing can take away the first time you ever go - the scent of chocolate wafts down the crowded halls, and the exotic chocolates in gorgeous packaging from all over the world are enticing as hell. Really, the sheer amount of chocolate at this thing is always overwhelming.

I used to do the chocolate fashion show of chocolate dresses, with the fancy shindig of fun hors d'oeuvres and nice swag that they finally managed to price the common man out of. I dunno if they even had the show this year, but they definitely had cool dresses to look at, and even a supercool haunted house.

The culinary demonstrations with famous chefs and chocolatiers from famous restaurants and tv shows are still there. Great to sit and watch, even better, tasting the recipes they're demo'ing. They've changed up the demos slightly, based on attendee feedback, I suppose. Like, having demos of recipes or activities that people can do at home - chocolate decorating cookies on sticks.

The exhibitors have changed over the years. One thing I loved was that the show was a good venue for high-end chocolatiers worldwide to come and show off their wares. It was always interesting to see the flavors and infusions they concocted, as well as the beautiful packaging. I can never resist beautiful packaging. Never. They still have some exotic exhibitors, like camel milk chocolates from Dubai (which I didn't get to try) and exhibitors from Europe and South America. But it's mixed in with domestic exhibitors with their chocolates as well.

I will say that I do miss my Payard Patisserie's flourless walnut chocolate cookies - the best chocolate cookies in the city. Yes, of course I can always go to the UES location, and I do, but this was sort of my tradition whenever I go to the show. Buying a couple of the cookies, and hoping to have them with milk, but never being able to save them long enough to get home to have them with milk. What? They're just that good.

One thing that they've refused to change up, which I suppose is a good thing if you're the Metropolitan Pavilion, is the venue. It's too small. Every year, we're all crammed into the tiny walkways and tiny booths, every inch jampacked with sugar-rushed people with their giant bags and rambunctious kids (no strollers, thank God, but I think that's cuz they were all on the UWS today), making the mad dash and elbowing people out of the way to get to the free chocolate samples at all the booths. Honestly, it's just miserable sometimes.

What's really disheartening is to see people saving up the chocolate samples in Ziploc containers and bags. Aside from their appalling booth trick-or-treating, I honestly don't know how that helps the exhibiting chocolatiers. You can't tell whose chocolate is whose if they're all ajumble in those half-melted bags. And having tried the majority of the chocolate at the booths, there's a huge difference in some of those chocolates! Ugh.

You really can't blame them, I guess. With price of admission hovering at the $30 mark, you want to get the most out of the day as possible.

Still, a day of chocolate and chocolate sugar highs is a good day. And that's what the day - and my bag of many various pretty bags and boxes of chocolate - was.

*From Empire Records. Yes, that's Renee Zellweger. And if you haven't seen it. Go. Now.
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julie said...

hahah love the shout out to empire records! :) also the tuna chocolate you mentioned on FB sounds gross... and i like tuna. what other recipes did they show? i'm sure they all featured double boiling... grrr. i hate double boilers.

joy said...

Yeah, everyone double-boiled, but refrained from calling it double boiling. Fritz did the steak recipe and the tuna recipe - but his whole thing was supposed to be savory recipes. This other chick who had trouble looking at the audience did some pumpkin thing. Patrick Caslon (?) from Food Network Challenge did a chocolate tasting, after Payard backed out to do his book signing, I think. Jeff Shepherd decorated voodoo bunnies. Tim Brown from Aroa Chocolate did a chocolate/caramel tart. Matthew Tivy from Chez Lucienne did a souffle-ish thing. That was all I could do before needing something salty. Heh.