News Detective: Emily goes to a chocolate show

Emily dips a pretzel into a chocolate fountain at a chocolate show.

Ariane Balizet

Emily, SNK’s intrepid reporter, goes to a chocolate show.

I swoon after a bite of really fancy chocolate, but I don’t care much for the cheap stuff. I don’t eat large amounts of it, and I don’t crave it every day. In other words, I’m a chocolate lover, but a picky one.

So, I was delighted when I learned about the “Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza,” a chocolate show held in Minneapolis last November. It sounded like the perfect setup. Some 35 companies, mostly local, would set up exhibit booths to introduce people to their chocolate products. Tickets cost $10 in advance. Samples were unlimited. It was bound to be an amazing day.

It turned out even better than I expected. Samples included cherry-filled truffles, deluxe chocolate ice cream, chocolate-chip cheesecake, and a spicy, rich chocolate drink, based on a classic Mexican recipe. There were also lectures and demonstrations, but I was too busy eating to attend any of those.














Samples at the Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza.
Samples at the Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza.
Ariane Balizet


Nevertheless, I learned a lot of things. One vendor, for instance, showed me what cocoa beans look like before and after they’re roasted. I also learned that if you successively sample pieces of chocolate made with different proportions of cocoa powder, you can really tell the difference. The more cocoa powder there is, the richer and more intense the chocolate tastes.

Eating a lot of chocolate also leads to a mighty buzz. After just 10 or 15 minutes of standing in lines and sampling truffles, my hands were shaking. My heart was racing. I was talking quickly, and I couldn’t stop smiling.

“I am having such an amazing time!” I said to my friend Ariane. She laughed. She knew exactly how I felt.

My final lesson came as a mighty shock. There is such a thing, I discovered, as eating too much chocolate. After the show, I felt sluggish and slightly queasy. I was crashing.

Later, at home, I made myself an enormous salad, full of every green and healthy item I could find in the fridge. When I went to bed, I figured I wouldn’t need another piece of chocolate for a long time.

Funny enough, the next morning I woke up craving hot cocoa and chocolate-chip muffins. A little bit does go a long way. But there always seems to be room for more!—E. Sohn

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