Greetings from New Yawk City! After two full days at the Fancy Food Show I can say I need to spend some serious time at the gym. Dear God. I have literally eaten my way around the world. Some facts:
2,400 exhibiting companies
331,000 square feet (makes Candy Expo look tiny)
There were companies and attendees from all over the world. I've spent time with the folks from Belgium at the Leonidas booth - where they told me in Belgium there are more Leonidas chocolate shops per person than there are Starbucks per person in the US. After I had one of their hazelnut praline chocolates, I could see why. I want to move to Belgium.
Last night the crew at Walkers Shortbread had a lovely champagne reception to celebrate winning their fourth Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade. A pretty big deal and I was THRILLED to be invited to celebrate with them. I can't tell you how great the team at Walkers is - Steve - thank you for a wonderful time!! Maybe I should move to Scotland - I do love shortbread. And that whole kilt thing is pretty cool.....
Today I spent time with the crew at Seattle Chocolates (my new BFFs!). It's so awesome to meet people who are passionate and creative - and some of their latest creations are amazing! I want to move to Seattle.
There were lots of other great people I met and fabulous chocolate I tasted - but there were some challenges too. The vast majority of the samples were tasting samples - meaning there's not much you can take home. (It's not packaged and usually is just a piece of something.) This means no photos for the blog - I wasn't allowed to take pictures in the exhibit area. A real challenge for doing reviews. Several of the vendors said they would mail things, so we'll see how that goes.
Another challenge is New York City in the summer. I forgot how much I hate NYC in the summer. Temp in the 100s, high humidity, a bizillion tourists, and the stench of garbage everywhere. GLACK!!! I do NOT want to move to New York.
I didn't visit any high end chocolate shops because whatever I bought would have melted. Did go to Macy's (the bus stopped me from going in in Chicago, but I made a comeback) and found some great deals. Also visited M & M World - so packed with people I wanted to gouge my own eyes out. And had to hit Hershey's Times Square store where I found macadamia nut Kisses! How exciting - I had no idea! Review to come.
It was great to connect with so many people who are passionate about chocolate and food. I ate a lot, laughed a lot, learned a lot, and lived a lot. Life is too short to spend it any other way.