Volume 75, Number 25 | November 09 -15, 2005

This mousse is made for walking.

Sweets and the City

By Bonnie Rosenstock

This week, life in the Big Apple will be a little bit sweeter as the Eighth Annual Chocolate Show returns to tantalize taste buds from Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13, at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building, 125 West 18th Street. The scrumptious show will feature 75 brands of chocolate for sampling and purchasing from old favorites like Guittard, Neuchatel, Felchlin, Knipschildt and Schokinag.

Local participating choclatiers include Tribeca Treats, retail and wholesalers of catered handcrafted desserts, and Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, a real-life chocolate factory cum retail store at 350 Hudson Street, where you can watch Mr. T deftly turn cocoa beans into chocolate bars. Peanut Butter & Company, at 240 Sullivan Street, a modest sandwich shop which makes six kinds of peanut butter, will also weigh in with chocolate-covered inspirations.

Chocolate Bar, 48 Eighth Avenue in the Village, in collaboration with Yoyamart, the children’s toy store at 15 Gansevoort Street, is debuting its new line of chocolate bars for the holidays with labels designed by ten fine artists and toy designers nationwide. The ten-bar box includes milk chocolate with Rice Crispies, dark chocolate with almonds, salty pretzels in dark chocolate and milk chocolate toffee crunch. Five percent of retail sales will go to the Third Street Music School Settlement on East 11th Street.

One sinful Chocolate Bar creation is the Elvis, made with banana, marshmallow and peanut butter in dark chocolate, named after Presley’s favorite food combination. “The new trend in chocolate is expanding the palette, adding exotic spices like wasabi or cheese,” notes owner Alison Nelson. “We’re a little bit different. We try to remake classic flavors without destroying them,” she says.

Vere, a wholesale chocolatier just launched in late October, will premiere its exquisite line of dark chocolate products, which include several kinds of truffles (vegan, fruit and nut, coconut), melt-in-your-mouth brownies, peanut and coconut clusters, and yummy bars. Vere (Latin for “truth”) values health, taste, and ecological concerns in the creation of its products, which have a high cocoa content and are low carb, low glycemic, high fiber and jam-packed with antioxidants. The company uses an heirloom cocoa bean from Rainforest Alliance-certified cooperatives in Ecuador. (Translation: it’s sustainably grown and responsibly harvested by local farmers who receive fair prices.) The state-of-the-art factory has taken up residence at 12 West 27th Street “to capitalize on the burgeoning chocolate renaissance that is currently taking place here,” says president and founder Kathy Moskal, who is also co-founder of HUE, the fashion legwear brand.

Speaking of fashion, the ever-awesome Chocolate Fashion Collection will also be on display. For the fourth year in a row, designer Diana Kane and Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, owner and pastry chef of Lassi, an Indian restaurant at 28 Greenwich Avenue, will collaborate on their signature pun wear. Last year they created an Oscar de la Renta-style sleeveless party dress of dark and white chocolate, complete with dark chocolate moose antlers set atop the model’s head. The dress’s name, appropriately, was “Chocolate Mousse.” “Poor girl,” chuckles Carlucci-Rodriguez, who would not reveal this year’s pun. “We keep it a secret until the very end,” she says.

For tickets, visit www.chocolateshow.com.

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