International Chocolate Festival

This past weekend, I attended the International Chocolate Festival at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, FL. I was very excited, and hoping to sample all kinds of chocolate treats.

The venue was really cool; it had beautiful plants and scenic views. However, I was a little disappointed in the festival itself. First off, there was a $20 charge to get in. From this, I thought that there would be a lot of free stuff from the vendors, as was common at other festivals/fairs I have been too. Unfortunately, you had to pay for everything! The only vendors that were willingly giving stuff away were Yelp.com (which obviously has nothing to do with chocolate) and Taylormade Cookies, which were delicious. Also, Bella Sera wines were giving away samples, but as it was 11 in the morning, I was not interested.

For anything else, you had to dig into your wallet, and it was not cheap. I got the “Taster’s Plate” ($12) in their House of Chocolate.

Sure, it was tasty, especially the Mayan Hot Chocolate. But I don’t think I would pay 12 bucks for it again. The other item I bought was a chocolate smoothie made with chocolate grown at Fairchild, for $3. It was truly delicious! It was perfect on a hot afternoon in Miami. Other than those two things, I was not willing to pony up.

To be fair, I should mention that they were doing several cooking demos, and book signings. However, I wasn’t about to spend the entire day at this place. If you did though, you would have probably learned a lot.

In the end, I would say it was probably a successful event. But I love my free stuff, and I left pretty much unsatisfied.

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