Safari Report Part One
First off - I added some more pictures to the set - they're all in the same set as the previous entry and are tagged with "round2" for easy filing (a sad workaround for not being willing to go pro on Flickr just yet). The whole mess is found here as before or you can go down to the prior entry and use the cool little PictoBrowser thangaroo. There are no descriptions or real titles yet, but hopefully that will change in short order.
And on to the content!.
Sadly things weren’t timed quite as well as I would have liked them to be and I didn’t get to New York until Saturday evening so my only shot at the chocolate show was Sunday. So, after rambling about the city on foot Saturday evening, I got up bright and early and started my walk down to 18th to where the show was. I figured it would be nice to start things off with a bagel so I stopped at a place I had noticed the night before and got a shmear and sat and enjoyed it for a bit. When I had finished with my bagel I turned my nose back toward 18th and pushed on. Ended up getting there with more than a half hour to spare so I decided that I would switch gears to my original breakfast plan of hitting City Bakery, which, I had heard, had some of the best hot chocolate in the city. Got a cup with a fresh marshmallow and enjoyed that while killing time. Got to say it was one of the better cups I’ve had (and if you were around for hot chocolate week last winter you’ll know I’ve had a few). Not too thick to drink, not so hot it burns. It was pretty darn good and as the marshmallow slowly shrank it added a little extra sweet creamy something that was quite the nice addition.
But a cup of hot chocolate just can’t last forever and when it was gone I decided to add myself to the queue for tickets to the show. I hadn’t bothered with getting my tickets ahead of time so I was forced to wait in line. The line moved pretty quickly, though, and they gave out these little Valrhona chocolate stick things (and who doesn’t love free chocolate - good chocolate at that) so I wasn’t too worried about the line. Getting in to the ticket desk brought up one of my major complaints about the show. Tickets were cash only. And guess how many atm machines there were to help out those who found themselves short of cash during the day. ZERO. Bad form. Tsk. Cash only tickets aren't so much a problem if there are ample atms around, but that, alas, was not the case.
So, with ticket in hand I was able to finally get into the chocolate show, just a year later than planned. The first thing that greeted me was a nice little art exhibit of something I had been thinking of doing myself: sort of collages made of chocolate bar wrappers. I love the art and style that goes into a lot of the packaging and these showcased some very nice wrappers in a nice classy manner. I wish they had the appropriate info on the Chocolate Show website, but they don’t have it filled in so I can’t give props where due and that disappoints me. I’ll keep trying to figure it out.
She is Christina Stahr and her chocolate work is called (ready for this) Chocolate Obsession Collages! I love the name (of course). But I love the idea and it's well executed too. So glad I actually looked at the program for the show or I'd never have figured it out. Couldn't remember the Chocolate Obsession connection. I'm bad.
Anyway, after that we had some more chocolate art, which I took a couple of shots of. It’s nice. Reminds me of Ikebana which I quite like. I afforded it less time than I really should have, though. I was in a hurry to get into the show and make sure I managed to get my hands on a certain something before it disappeared.
After trying a generic mass-produced truffle (the kind you can buy a jillion of in a little box at the grocery) from someplace I will never remember the name of I quickly made my way to the Lillie Belle Farms booth where I got to chat a bit and try the award winning Smokey Blue Truffle. For those who are unfamiliar they took the award winning Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue Cheese and made a truffle with it and toasted almonds. It is pretty amazing that chocolate and blue cheese could go so well together, but it really works beautifully. It’s smokey, creamy, tangy and all around wonderful. One of the two best things I tried at the show. And one of the three best I tried while in New York. I bought a package of the truffles and a package of chocolate covered dried pears (I love dried pears) and when these are gone I’m going to have to order some more. They are one of those items that are just too good not to share.
More to come..... tomorrow most likely. I've been a bit busy baking today.