Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Food Journal, Restaurant Reviews

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire – Once a year, chocolate purveyors (and lovers) from around the nation gather in downtown Glendale, AZ for this award-winning festival, which celebrates chocolate, romance and the arts. Also, it has lots of yummy treats :D! Here is a little glance at my own chocolate affaire.

We had to park kind of far and walk, but as we got closer, we were greeted by the sweet smell of chocolate filling the air! People were passing us by on the way back to their cars munching on chocolate treats that they probably intended on taking home (I can’t blame them, none of mine even saw a box). I was super excited and could not wait to get there and get my hands on some delicious treats. Chocolate covered bacon was first on my list and chocolate covered key lime pie, an old favorite of mine, was second. Of course once I was actually in the festival I got side tracked. The first booth that caught my interest was called “Wei of Chocolate“. They have dark chocolate that is dairy free, vegan, naturally low carb, gluten free, soy free,  and did I mention Organic and Fair Trade certified.  Also it is really, really good! I tried several of their flavors including chai – infused, chili – infused, and the pure dark. Their flavored chocolates were all absolutely beautiful with just enough flavors added to compliment, not cover the smooth chocolate. They use organic herbs, spices and flower essences when they make their chocolates and you can really taste the love that goes into them!


The other thing that caught my attention in their booth was the chocolate lip balms (with actual Scharfenberger Chocolate in them- yum). “Ganache for Lips” – mmmmmmm! After smelling all of the samples, I chose to purchase two – the chocolate mocha and the chocolate orange. I am always a little afraid the first time I try a new skin product because I have the most sensitive skin in the world, and these are my lips we’re talking about. I tried the lip balm and to my delight, first of all, no allergic reaction- YAY :D! Second, this is the smoothest, most wonderful lip balm ever and I seriously recommend it to everyone. Plus you get the added bonus of smelling chocolate for like an hour after you put it on. My little girl gives me lots of kisses when I wear it too – she says I have sweet lips. How cute is that :D. As a side note, when I got home and checked out their site, I discovered the lip balm was not there. It is not made by the Wei of Chocolate people (I’m glad they support it though)! Thank goodness the side of the tube has a web address – ganacheforlips.com. I would have been totally bummed if I couldn’t find it in the future.
So, back to my quest for the bacon and key lime pie dipped in chocolate. Again, I didn’t make it very far. A few booths down I found myself engulfed in the sweet smell of peanut butter fudge! The “Oh Fudge” booth (Mackinac Island Style Fudge). Suddenly, wonderful childhood memories of my mother sprang to my mind. She makes what is without a doubt the best peanut butter fudge in the world (OK, she’s my mommy and I may be a little bias).

But to say the least, these people had a lot to live up to in order to  compare in my mind. I stood and watched for a few minutes as the man in the back of the booth was cutting the freshly made fudge. Every few seconds he would wave off the bees that were all around their booth – also enamoured by the sweet smell. He must of noticed me there drooling because after a few minutes, he walked over with a bunch of pieces in his hand and held them out to me. “Do you want to try it?” he asked. YEAH I DO! I got super happy and took a piece, and then I remembered I was there with my husband and kids who I should probably share with. It’s the right thing to do, eating fudge in front of your kids and not sharing is not really very cool. As I turned around to give them a little piece off of mine he very generously gave them each a piece of their own. Say this part like a little kid taunting a sibling – YAY, I get my o-own, I get my o-own. :D! After trying it, I realized his little ploy (:D LOL). There is no way to taste this fudge and not want more! It was just like mom’s! So, I got in line and bought a full slice. When the women working the front handed it to me she said “careful, it’s still hot”. I did a little secret happy dance inside at the thought of a slice of still warm fudge. The bad news is, these guys only work festivals, so if you see them – get some! From there we walked around for a few minutes indulging in our delicious fudge. Every few minutes, a little grunting noise emanating from the stroller – my two year old wanting another bite of fudge in her mouth.



We wandered around looking at all the deliciousness dipped in chocolate. There was everything from chocolate-covered churros and chocolate-covered twinkies to fried ice cream with chocolate strawberries, chocolate-covered crepes and even chocolate covered potato chips. But I was on a mission. Chocolate covered bacon and key lime pie. We grabbed some drinks and continued our search. It seemed the lines were growing longer by the minute, one more stop and back to my quest. After all, who can pass up a good truffle. This time it was from the candy maker who was sponsoring the event Cerreta’s. I got the double chocolate truffle filled with -yes, chocolate. It was about half the size of my fist and really yummy! We shared that along with a chocolate dipped strawberry – it’s important to feed your kids fruit you know :D!

Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it – the sign for the chocolate key lime pie –  YAY. And then I noticed the  sign with the black sharpie writing - Out of Key Lime Pie. Sad, very sad.

And finally, aaahhhhhhhh (in your best opera voice) the chocolate bacon line! Also, quite possibly, the  longest line in the world. I guess everyone wants to try chocolate bacon. So, I waited, and waited, and waited and I’m sad to say that they announced that they were out of chocolate bacon. Booooooo, I was so sad :( . So I, along with most of the line, walked away disappointed. Oh well, I guess I have something new to make at home (don’t judge me, I want to try it – lol). So that was pretty much the end of the chocolate eating for the day. But, just in case you want to know….

Dr. Francisco Villarreal, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. was there to teach everyone about the medicinal properties of chocolate – not that we need an excuse to eat it :D! But….recent scientific studies have implied dark chocolate has health benefits such as a reduced risk of heart disease, increased brain function,  lowered blood pressure,   and lowered cholesterol  – cool. Also……

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire has become the largest gathering of national romance novelists in the Southwest. Pretty cool! I don’t really get into romance novels myself or have the extra time to read them, but just having them there added to the whole romantic, chocolaty fun day! Oh, and they had romance cover model Jimmy Thomas there to meet and greet fans. He has been on over 2,000 book covers – which is super impressive. I mean seriously where does he find the time? Much to his fans disappointment, he was one of the few treats there that did not come dipped in chocolate – LOL :).

In the end, even though I failed at my mission of trying chocolate covered bacon, and there was no key lime pie, we had a great time! I plan on being there next year. I also plan on making my own chocolate bacon and key lime pie (I’ll let you know how they come out:D). Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to make a chocolate creation of your own! Happy Cooking :D!

OK everyone, here’s an update, it’s now 2013 (next year) and yes, I went again. How could I possibly resist a day of chocolate. This time, we headed straight for the Key Lime Pie booth. You see, this wonderful woman, Patti, who read my article last year was holding two pieces for me this year. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever. She e-mailed me and said she felt bad they had ran out and that she’d hold one. So, anyway, let me tell you, it did not dissapoint. The chocolate was so totally rich and dedadent and the Key Lime pie was actual Key Lime Pie – it’s easy to spot a cheater Key Lime Pie, they taste and look different. It was so good that when my husband took a bite, he asked me if she was from Florida. The little background there is that we used to live in South Florida together and would go to Key West to this place called Key Lime on a Stick where you could get frozen, chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie – and it was amazing. Imagine how excited we were to find that awesome taste again – not to mention the memories it brought back. And guess what else, Patti is a blogger. So, I checked out her site and ended up reading several of her pages before I left – she’s a really good writer. Here’s a link to her blog so you can all check it out too – Patti’s Blog.

Oh, guess what else happened. The fudge that we had last year that I went on and on about – you know the one – SOLD OUT when we got there. Sigh. On the good side, I found this other fudge booth called Mr. Fudge. They had placed second that day in the sweets contest. So, we got three different kinds of fudge – pumpkin, maple, and chocolate and of course on of the winning creations. I have to be honest here and say that I haven’t tried it yet. Mostly because that day I was already too stuffed with goodies. However, my son had some and said it was the best fudge he’d ever had – hey, what about my fudge! Just kidding! I do want to say too though that he wasn’t with us last year so he didn’t try the fudge from “Oh Fudge”. I am going to try it soon. I’m patiently waiting for this cold I have to go away so that I can actually taste again – it’s in my freezer. I will be sure to update as soon as I try it. And, I have pictures of the fudge, the winning creation, and the Key Lime Pie that I will put up on Monday.

 

 


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