Last Saturday Chrystie and I made our way to the SF Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason. With “Chocolatefest” growing in popularity, the event was moved to a slightly larger pavilion.
Many eager tasters crowded round each booth jostling in position to get within arms grasp for a sample of the vendor’s chocolately creation. Most guests viewed this as a challenge to see how much chocolate they could get their hands on for their $20 entrance fee.
I found it very amusing watching an older lady push through the crowd, take a napkin and fill it completely with as much free sample as she could fit, then put it in her bag and walk to the next booth and repeat her tactic.
There did seem to be a few genuine chocolate conisseurs amidst the chocoholics, I noticed a few people taking notes and inquiring about the creation procedure.
The mix, I would guess was 80% chocoholics, 20% connoisseurs, with myself definitely belonging to the former group. With all the special chocolates on display, I found myself frequenting the good ole Ghiradelli booth several times to grab a few squares each time.
Some vendors went to the effort of making eye-catching displays, but most were content with just putting their chocolate out and watching people flock to their booth.
One booth went to the effort of performing to draw attention to their booth – a Hawaiian chocolatier had two of their crew perform some hula dances and pass out fresh leis to the delight of the crowd.
Of course there were also booths with drinks that paired well with chocolate, and alcohols made with chocolate.
The chocoholic in me was very satisfied with my haul, but I dont think I will be returning to the Chocolate Salon next year. Paying $20 to fight through crowds to try and feign interest to be polite to the vendor who is watching everyone just grab a sample and move on – it just seems that I could go to Trader Joe’s, buy a chunk of the giant Ghiradelli bars they sell and be just as satisfied.