Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
Even before Mark and I got off the F train at the Hudson Yards Station heading to the Javits Center, we spotted folks bejewelled with their red and white Fancy Food Show tags.
Earlier in June when I had reviewed the list of chocolate vendors scheduled to be at the Show, I had felt a sense of panic. I wondered how I could possibly get to all of them, interspersed among the 2,670 exhibitors spread over the 840,000 square feet floor space. So I marked each chocolate vendor on my copy of the layout to maximize our time through the aisles. That kept us moving, admittedly grazing on cheese, crackers, antipasto, iced tea, gelato and more, yet pretty singularly focused on our chocolate trail. Knowing that there would be lots of chocolate samples, we came prepared with shopping bags that bulged by the end of each day. Even though we skipped the many offerings of caramel and salted chocolates, we are still, over one month later, nibbling on bon bons and minis. Fortunately, each day’s walking around Javits and then home from the show burnt off about 8 miles worth of calories.
And, we found some choco-stories of diversity and unity. We met Mendy Schmerling, the CEO of Milk Boy Chocolate, a third generation chocolate making Orthodox family based in Brooklyn using a Swiss process. And a nearby vendor, Abdallah’s Candies, a fourth generation Lebanese family owned company from Minneapolis was founded in 1909.
We were intrigued by the chocolate businesses recently launching efforts to assist girls and women. Honduran born Maribel Lieberman’s Mariebelle Chocolate, located in Soho since 2001, now seeks to empower women in Honduras producing cacao. Katrina Markoff’s Vosges Haut-Chocolat supports V-Day’s global movement to stop violence against women and girls. It also invests in girls through its Wild Ophelia line to encourage, educate and propel American high school and college gifts who have entrepreneurial dreams in food.
The Fancy Food Show is booked in my calendar for 2017 so that we will be able to collect more stories and samples. By then we will probably be out of chocolate.
Choco-dar first erupted on our multi-country circuit of Europe in a VW van. That adult onset, self-diagnosed radar for chocolate experiences led us serendipitously to many wonderful chocolate discoveries and surprises. In the process I learned some chocolate travel tips. Chocolate travel generated the book and the website that I came to call On theRead more ›
Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
On the Chocolate Trail, I found amazing stories of mothers and chocolate from World War II. Immigrant Lisa Hoffman reminisced about how her mother insured she had the skills, including chocolate making, to survive. “I carried inside of me all of the lessons my mother had worked so hard to get for me. I could makeRead more ›
Chocolate Trail Broadens: “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” Travels
I am very excited that the NYCs Bernard Museum exhibit, “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” based on my book, On the Chocolate Trail, will now be forging new paths as it travels around the country. We selected On the Chocolate Trail as the book title for a number of reasons. First, it evokes the diffusion ofRead more ›
Talking Chocolate in February
Recent media featured projects on the chocolate trail in celebration of Valentine’s Day and “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” at the Bernard Museum, NYC. Of course, Florence Fabricant’s mention of the exhibit in the New York Times was a highlight. Now, these stories just within the last two weeks: In The Jewish Love AffairRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Local Chocolate in the South
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes