Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wall to Wall Chocolate

Imagine, if you will, a large expo center filled with wall-to-wall chocolate vendors from France, Switzerland, and Belgium; chocolate and cacao importers and vendors from Brazil, Madagascar, Gabon, and other African nations; chocolate art displays, chocolate cooking demonstrations, and even a chocolate fashion show.  Yes, you have arrived at the Salon du Chocolat and it does not disappoint.

While each stand markets and sells its products - despite the entry fee - there are samples galore.  Nibbles of single-origin chocolates, broken truffles, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, flavored chocolate.  I was forced to make one purchase at Chapon's Bar a Mousse au Chocolat - but how can you pass up a chocolate mousse bar?!  They offered four different chocolate mousse options, each based on a chocolate from a different origin (Cuba, Sao Tome, etc).  The descriptive listings associated with each mousse resembled a gourmet wine description - long in the mouth, smoky, subtle, fruity, bright in the mouth, etc.  I went with the Cuba (the smoky one) because the Sao Tome (fruity and long in the mouth) was sold out.  And man was that some amazing chocolate mousse. 

Even pregnant, there's only so much chocolate I can consume before approaching saturation (read: turn slightly green and run for something salty).  Fortunately, the Salon du Chocolat provided ongoing entertainment, including a chocolate fashion show:

And a performance by a musical/dance group from Madagascar.  Baby Oil in particular was enamored with the Madagascaran dancing and tried at times to emulate their movements. 
Mr. Oil and I also were able to participate in the French cultural experience of yelling at children that do not belong to us.  In classic French fashion, there were any number of 8-13 year old children gathered around the stage with nary a parent in site.  The oldest few were having a good time, if that's what you can call shouting, jumping, pulling hair, and generally creating a ruckus while the rest of us were trying to enjoy the Madagascarian moment.   Several other adults in the audience, including Mr. Oil and me, took turns shouting "Arret!" to those trouble-making kids.  It's kinda fun to yell at some stranger's kid who is behaving badly in public, and it is totally acceptable here.  Though I would still prefer if an actual parent or supervisory figure would do the dirty work. 

In other blog-related news, this blog has been nominated for an Expat Blog award by the friendly folks over at Expats Blog. One of the judging criteria is related to comments left on the listing for the blog (available here), so please, regular readers, visit and share how delightfully entertaining you find me.  Or whatever (but something preferably nice).