How sweet it is

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's a festival that appeals to the kid in all of us, but authentic kids really love this one. The 5th International Chocolate Festival, featuring Coffee & Tea, opened today with the delectable aroma of chocolate coming from orchids, candies, candles, even from the Garden's festival T-shirt. Ummm.

Barbara Lalevee shows Ryan
Johnson 9, pulpy chocolate seeds .

You can see the Theobroma cacao trees in the rainforest -- and volunteer Barbara Lalevee will point out the baby pod on one of them that looks like a pepper -- and touch the

An opened cacao pod.

pulp-coated seeds. You can buy a chocolate ice cream, a chocolate-covered oreo, a chocolate cupcake, several bars of Ecuadorean chocolate, beautifully decorated fruit-flavored chocolate candies, chocolate fountains. This must be one of the most sensual festivals around! If it all becomes too much you can even take a quick yoga class or have a massage.

A pink-clad chocokid.

A culinary tent is sure to fill quickly throughout Saturday and Sunday, as chefs show how to whip up dreamy chocolate recipes. Or, you can learn about the chocolate genome or chocolate secrets of the Maya in the Corbin building lecture series.

Painting a pretty face.

Don't forget the face-painters, story-tellers and rescued rabbits in the Learning Garden. There are cooking demonstrations for kids at 11 Saturday and Sunday, even yoga for kids -- if they can sit still after all that chocolate!