This magical combination Taste Test/Mailbag began with an email from Tasha Robinson, who pointed out the existence of something called The National Chocolate Show, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 16-18 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Because we love attending conventions that prominently feature free samples of candy and chocolate, I requested press credentials. Hopefully you’ll be seeing a report from the show sometime around Thanksgiving.
But in the meantime, the publicist for the NCS asked if we’d be interested in receiving some samples from vendors that will be at the show, and being very serious food journalists, of course we accepted (out of professional curiosity). Over the last few days, several boxes—and one personal delivery—arrived at our door, including some fancy-ass chocolates and cupcakes. And because we’ve had a bottle of pumpkin pie-flavored vodka sitting around the office for a couple of months, we figured we’d throw that in as well. Be warned, this is either a very unscientific Taste Test or a very disorganized, food-centric Mailbag. It is less than the sum of its parts, but it allowed us all to eat a bunch of delicious sugar, including:
- A box of assorted gourmet chocolates in a cool tower-box from Le Chocoholique of Columbus, Ohio [www.lechocoholique.com], which included such delicious delicacies as the pumpkin caramel and raspberry rose, and such mouth-burning craziness as the atomic fire. (You’ll see us eat the latter on camera and run for water.)
- Two boxes of gorgeous looking and tasting chocolates from St. Croix Chocolate of St. Croix, Minnesota, including pumpkin-brandy truffles and delicately shaped maple-leaf chocolates with maple syrup inside them.
- An assortment of autumn-themed cupcakes from Sweet Pea Cakes, which has two stores in the Chicago suburbs, and who delivered them all by hand: candy corn, pumpkin spice latte, caramel apple (with green frosting), and pumpkin. All delicious.
- Finally from the Chocolate Show folks: Bruttles, chocolate covered marshmallows with caramel inside. Can’t really go wrong there.
And to wash it down, of course we had Pinnacle brand Pumpkin Pie Vodka, the latest in a series of novelty vodkas that make alcoholism and regret seem just a little cheerier. There are no office reactions other than yum, and there's no season like candy season. See you at the show?