Tuesday, November 22, 2011

. . . except chocolate

Ciocoshow booths in the Piazza Maggiore
Bolognesi are serious about their food. I asked one once how to make ragù (it was, after all, invented in Bologna) and he started by saying, "First, you need 8 hours. . ." I pretty much tuned out after that, knowing that I would probably never make real ragù alla Bolognese. True to form, the 7th Annual Chocolate Festival (or Cioccoshow) was also a serious undertaking. And it was seriously incredible.

For over a week before the festival, tents were being set up, lighting was being installed, woodfloors were being fitted, booths were getting decorated . . . I thought, "All this work! Surely it must be fore more than a 5 day festival?" But no. It's just a testament to the level of seriousness these people have for culinary arts.

It's hard to name everything we saw. I thought the rusty tools and antique-looking treasures were the most impressive (and realistic) chocolate creations. We saw everything from dress shirts and ties, to iPhones and dentures. Name something. You probably could have found a choco-version at the festival.

And not only did they have chocolate for show and chocolate for eating, they had chocolate for makingthe festival hosted chocolate classes and gelato classes. Were Ada perhaps in a bit more cooperative (comatosive) stage, maybe I would have braved the language barrier and given it a shot.

Brianna and I took the girls out to scout out the festival before bringing the dad's a few days later. It was then that Ada learned her latest trick: scoring samples and nearly every booth. I may or may not have stolen a few and put them in my mouth first. By the way: Chocolate Passion has the best cremino. I could eat that stuff for dinneroh wait! I did!!with a side of chocolate salami. True story.

Mikey is notorious for not being a sweets guy. This concept is something my brain has a hard time computing. Sweetness = goodness. Duh. But he says, "Nothing tastes as good as fit feels." Saturday, however, he admitted that, "Nothing tastes as good as fit feels . . . except chocolate." Score.

See Ada's sad face? That's because we wouldn't let her hold her own truffle and eat it. Poor dear. The truffles did look amazing. Who wouldn't want to hold them (and get a break from the stupid gloves mom always forces on me).

The truffles were displayed grouped together: the dusty dark balls, cozied up to the coconut covered white chocolate ones. Pistachio covered truffles sat deliciously prickly next to some milky concoction. I wish I could have tried each one. Too bad they cost about a euro a piece. (Ouch). We opted for four different kinds. Hazelnut won out hand over fist.

Oh Bologna! Thank you for teaching me to slow down to eat my food. Chocolate tastes so much better after it has melted on my tongue.

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