There must be a reason why more people came to chomp on chocolate last year than showed up for any other show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. (Yes, folks, even more people than came to the dog show!) So, with apologies to David Letterman… here are the top 10 reasons why you can’t miss the Chocolate World Expo on Sunday, November 7 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
10. It has chocolate. Lots and lots, from more than 50 vendors, including Rhinebeck’s Oliver Kita Fine Confections (see one-of-a-kind photos of Kita’s tantalizing treats below), Gourmetibles, Dutch Desserts, Chocolations, Caveman Cookies, Dina’s Organic Chocolates, Gnosis Chocolate, NibMor, Odyssey Chocolates, Lucas Candies, and the Chocolate Box NYC.
9. It has other stuff. Don’t like chocolate? Local farms and small producers bring along baked goods, specialty foods, ice cream, cheeses, and more.
8. It’s good for your health. “In addition to being decadent and delicious, recent studies confirm that dark chocolates, eaten in moderation, can offer significant health benefits,” says Marvin Baum of Baum Image Group, the show’s promoter. (We knew it!)
7. It’s New York-centric. More than 90 percent of the vendors are based in New York State, Baum says. But it’s also global, as fancy-pants European chocolate makers like Camille Bloch, Elizabeth Shaw, and Rademaker will also be there.
6. It will mess with your mind. Having trouble choosing which chocolates to sample next? Mentalist Oz (pronounced “Ohs”) Pearlman — who works his magic in three shows beginning at noon — knows exactly what you’re craving. (Seriously — he can read your thoughts.) The charming mind reader has entertained the likes of actor James Gandolfini, Senator John Kerry, and the hosts of CBS’s Early Show. During his Expo performance, Pearlman promises to ask a man to retrieve his wallet, and “before he even takes it out of his pocket, I’ll predict exactly, to the penny, how much money he has on him.”
Watch Oz in action here:
5. It’s big-tent inclusive. No matter what your dietary tastes may be — all-natural, organic, raw, vegan, fair trade, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, low-glycemic, ethnic — you’ll find something to sample. It’s even kosher. The Challah Fairy, from New York City, offers fresh-baked chocolate and cinnamon challahs, chocolate babka, and chocolate cake which have all been designated Kosher Parve.
4. You can get drunk. Not on chocolate, on wine. Taste (and purchase) vino from Glenora Wine Cellars, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, Cherry Knoll Farm, and Prospero Winery.
3. If you get drunk, you don’t have to drive home. The Westchester County Center is a five-minute walk from the train station.
2. You can get a jump on your holiday shopping. Admission is only $15 for adults and $10 for children ages five-11 (under five are free). So you can order all your Christmas or Hanukkah treats here — many vendors will ship them for you.
1. It’s good politics. “The show is right after election day,” Baum notes, “and since chocolate is a mood enhancer, you can use it to celebrate your winner or feel better about your loser.”
For additional information and to purchase tickets, go to www.chocolateworldexpo.com.