Friday, November 15, 2013

Chocolate Festival

The Cioccoshow (Chocolate Festival) happens every November in Piazza Maggiore. Chocolate producers come from all over Italy to show off and sell their chocolate creations. There are the standards like truffles, chocolate covered fruit and hot chocolate and then there are the producers who really dream big and think outside the box…
Chocolate purse complete with the Louis Vuitton markings. This is hilarious because the Louis Vuitton purses are so coveted here in Italy and now people can have one or give it as a gift for just 15,00 euros!
Locks, Bottle Openers, Scissors, Dice
These nuts and bolts actually screw together and apart! And of course you can't have nuts and bolts without a wrench - those were available too!
Salami, Pretzels, Rosetta (bread), Swiss and Parmigiano cheese!! These were probably my favorite chocolate creations at the show. They looked extremely realistic! 
I love looking at all of the creative things people are making out of chocolate but my favorite part of the Chocolate Fest is trying the chocolate! I tried as many different things as possible before the chocolate coma started to set in and I had to wave the white flag. Here are my top 3 favorite things I ate at the chocolate festival this year:
I tried the dried apricots, dried pineapple, candied orange and candied lemon each of which was covered with a layer of chocolate. I have to say, to my surprise, the candied lemon was my favorite. The tartness of the lemon stood up nicely to the sweetness of the chocolate and it provided a great contrast.
I have to break some bad news about the Chocolate Show - not all of the chocolate is good. I have actually tried chocolate that I did not like and that I ended up throwing away! Last year, Andrea and I tried truffles from a few different vendors and unfortunately, we were not impressed with any of them. This year we tried the truffles from GastronomiaTurchi and they were fantastic! We tried quite a few different flavors (including raspberry, rum, and even aceto balsamico) and they were all well balanced and the flavors tasted genuine and not at all artificial.
I believe this vendor was a new addition to the Chocolate Fest this year - or I missed them in the past. Something that can happen at the Chocolate Fest is that you fall into a haze from seeing booth after booth that are selling similar products so when I saw this booth I was excited to see something different and I knew I had to try it. They had all kinds of different nut brittles (walnut, almond, pistacchio, hazelnut) that were spread thin and then backed with a layer of dark or milk chocolate. It was so crunchy and satisfying! Andrea and I have remarked to each other a couple times today that we wish we would have bought more so we would have had some around the house to munch on. 
 The Chocolate Fest continues for another two days (through Sunday) and I am pretty sure we will be lured back over the weekend to pick up a few more sweet treats!

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