Monday, November 10, 2008

New York Chocolate Show 2008 - Sweet Brown Dreams

Jaimi and I went to the Chocolate Show on Saturday. We brought along our friends, Jeff and Candice, who were visiting from Boston.

The show was staged at Pier 94, and featured approximately 60 chocolate-related exhibitors. Many exhibits featured a variety of products for sale and for sampling.

And for the $28 entry fee, we were certainly motivated to take full advantage of all the free samples. This was a chocolate lover’s fantasy dream land. The samples ranged from tiny shards of pulverized chocolate bars and splinters of hacked up chocolate truffles, to full-sized and intact candies. From the clumping of the crowd, you could tell who was giving away whole candies.

For $28, we planned to do serious damage to our digestive tracts.

Now, I’ve known Jeff since college, and he never seemed so organized and focused as he did on Saturday. He laid out the game plan, barking orders like a football coach, but in a softer tone - so as to not piss off Candice. We were to systematically – and without exception – stop at every stand along a z-shaped route. This way, we were sure to wring every last sample out of the show. $28 worth of chocolate? Ha! We were shooting for $228 in each of our bellies before the afternoon was through. None of us really knew what that much chocolate would do to a man's gut, but we were hoping to find out. In the name of science.

Most show-goers were lethargic and pale after consuming large amounts of tiny chocolate samples.

In the end, the game plan worked fairly well. We mostly adhered to the planned route. We ate a bunch of samples, and had a real nice time. But we would have had to purge and keep sampling in order to really get our money’s worth. According to Candice and Jaimi, that was out of the question. In retrospect, it wasn’t a very good idea. But the simple physiological fact of the matter is that the human body begins to reject chocolate after a pound or so has been ingested.

I suppose the generally tiny samples not only save the exhibitors money, but they’re also good for the visitors. If chocolate doesn’t go straight to your ass and hips, then it goes straight to the interior walls of your veins and arteries.

Even so, when I saw the diminutive size of some of these samples, I could almost feel my blood pressure rise, and my clothes ripping under the force of my bulging green muscles. In other words, I was angry.

The worst perpetrators, however, were those who dared to offer no samples at all. They would only sell you pieces of their overpriced, shit-enrobed hot garbage.

These don't look like free samples. Keep moving!!

You think I came to this show to do a little shopping? Hell no! I came here to eat me some chocolate.

Besides, I didn’t have any cash on me.

But enough complaining. Jacques Torres, whose store is right near our apartment in DUMBO, probably did the best job handing out whole, gourmet candies – and not just some ass-flavored crap that they couldn’t sell at the store. No, these were absolutely delightful ginger-flavored dark chocolate truffles.

Thank you Jacques. You win my award for best Chocolate Show sample. You are a true chocolate gentleman. A chocolate man with a chocolate soul – sweet and rich, inside and out. You may have just earned yourself a few new loyal customers due to your Chocolate Show performance.

Congratulations. You won't regret it. Probably.

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Anonymous said...

Nice post. sums up the experience quite well. as some one who was exhibiting there let me clue you in on a little secret. it costs the vendors over $5000.00 to be there, not including airfare and hotel. I gave away over 200lbs of samples and didnt even come close to breaking even on my expenses with sales. Congratulations on making this my last new york chocolate show(i have done this show 7 times). its people like you, with your 'gimme' attitude that ruin it for the vendors.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with the post before mine. The blogger that posted this is the reason why my company most likely won't show up to the show again either. We spent well over 10k to be there and we didn't even come close to breaking even. It wouldn't be so bad if there was some good press, but all we got was bloggers with no real press. Thanks Mill and all the cheap people like you. You should feel good about yourself! I'm glad you can fill your stomach with our losses.

The Mill said...


What is wrong with you chocolate people??!?!?!?

Have you ever been to a beer festival, or a food tasting of any kind whatsoever? You get to taste whatever you want. It's pretty awesome. You should try it some time.

I paid $28 to get into this stupid chocolate show. I'm sorry for liking chocolate. I didn't realize that your business hopes and dreams rested upon this show. I won't go next year, so you can attend again if you like, without worrying that some pig like myself might actually eat 5 dollars worth of chocolate - probably 25 cents worth of your own product, if that.

Sorry for ruining everything for you and everyone else in the chocolate world.