Where do I even begin.
Well let me begin by explaining that the Salon du Chocolat is not a small, intimate, sexy event like you might believe from the name salon. It’s big. It’s in a freaking expo center. And there are two levels.
The Salon du Chocolate is, at its worst, a giant fancy candy store. Not like “Sweets From Heaven” mall sugar but like, that local super expensive store you drool at the windows of. All in a huge convention center.
What I’m trying to say is, it was magnificent.
I have never seen so much chocolate in one place in my life. And it wasn’t even all chocolate! Nougat, macarons, honey… sweets galore. Oh, and fashion.
Frenchman and I tagged along to the Salon with Frenchmom and her friend from work. They proceeded to be very selective with their praise and scoffed at subpar tables and disappointing salespeople. I, on the other hand, was wandering around trying to keep my chin off the floor, astounded at the sheer number of chocolatiers. The variety of offerings was exceptional. (and they all offered samples 🙂)
And Frenchmom is my favorite type of person to go shopping with, because she was in it to win it. She had taken out a pile of cash and was not afraid to use it! A woman on a mission: a mission for chocolate.
She has her favorites, apparently, so we looked for particular stalls but along the way we stopped at plenty of other vendors selling delicious almondy macarons, infinitely-better-than-nutella chocolate noisette spread, bars and bars of chocolate, massive wedges of marshmallow-textured nougat, orange flavored pain d’épices… and more chocolate.
In the end, we spent a couple of hours exploring chocolate heaven and left when our arms were full and the Salon was starting to get busy. We got in pretty early (Frenchmom and friend were some of the first in line!) so we were able to get our goodies and get out before it became a madhouse.
We didn’t actually buy that much chocolate, interestingly enough. Frenchman and I were being pretty conservative since we’re heading to Bruges next weekend. It seemed silly to load up on chocolate before going to a city that specializes in it!
Not that we left empty handed…