Zeon and I recently went to Portland to check out the Wizard World there. What we didn't know is that the comic convention always lines up with the city's annual ChocolateFest -which seems appropriate since they no doubt bring plenty of attendees to one another's convention.
As you may have guessed, the ChocolateFest is a convention based around chocolate -not just eating it, but the production, cooking and history of the delicious treat. But aside from celebrating one of nature's greatest gifts, the festival also celebrates nature itself in that it is sponsored by the World Forestry Center and all proceeds go to support the center. -So you not only get to sample tons of exquisite, gourmet chocolates, you also get to support a good cause at the same time.
As a chocolate snob who has never been able to find anything quite as good as the chocolate I had in Switzerland, I was blown away when I discovered Cocotutti, which was one of the handful of companies that weren't local to Portland. The company made the best chocolates I've ever had. They were not only as rich and smooth as the Swiss chocolates, but they also had utterly amazing flavors like balsamic strawberry and lemon with lavender. I'm still kicking myself for not buying an assortment, but I was trying to save money since I was on vacation.
The festival also offered alcohol tastings so you could do wine and chocolate samples. Here I once again made an amazing discovery -though not with wine, but vodka. That's because Portland company Wild Roots makes and incredible infused vodka with Oregon's favorite berry, the marrionberry. Unfortunately, you can't buy this stuff out of Oregon, so if you live in the state, grab a bottle and celebrate your location.
As for ChocolateFest, the bottom line is that it's a great event for a great cause and if you make it, plan on getting drunk on chocolate before getting drunk on wine or booze because the delicious candy selection is certain to get your head spinning.