Don't Miss This!
Chocolate Lovers' Festival February 11, 2006
A fragrant and seductive river of chocolate delights are flowing through the
Ozarks as the Chocolate Lovers Festival brings out the whoís who of amateur and
professional Ozarks chocolatiers this February.
In 2005, about 1,500 chocolate aficionados poured into the first annual
Eureka Springs Chocolate Lovers Festival. Increased numbers of contest entries
are being divided into professional and amateur divisions in 2006. The festival
is a Valentine tribute to chocolate and lovers of chocolate.
Chocolate lovers can satiate their cravings while supporting a good cause.
Weekend festivities include a chocolate feast, and "best of" contests for
amateur and professional chocolatiers, sculptors, bakers and candy makers.
The festival is filled with sensual experiences. The best way to stretch the
joys of a chocolate celebration into a full day of melt in your mouth
experiences is to slowly savor every moment. Plan for the festival (reservation
packages are available at Inn of the Ozarks and $10 event tickets are available
at Clear Spring School. Go to www.eurekachocfest.org).
Walk through the doors and breath deeply. This serves two purposes; first it
alerts your entire mind, body and spirit to the presence of chocolate. Second,
it may prevent you from going into a feeding frenzy. Pace yourself. Remember,
you can have all the chocolate you want.
Look around; take in all there is to see, smell, and taste. The glistening
chocolates, the artfully designed sculptures, decorated cakes, stacks and stacks
of chocolate bars. Pace yourself at the festival. In addition to all the
chocolate you can eat, there are candy makers and sellers and a sampler of the
coziest (and tastiest) B&Bs in town.
Checkout your sources, know where to get more later. Commercial chocolate
vendors will have plenty of product samples and will help find nearby retail
resources wherever you live. Chocolate lovers always need a steady supply near
by. Vendors can help.
Hosts will be circulating with trays of homemade and locally made sweets and
treats. Friends and neighbors may recognize some of the local favorite chocolate
specialties. Visitors and guests will have the opportunity to sample the best
homemade treats continually delivered to you on trays.
The Eureka Springs Bed & Breakfast association will sponsor a buffet
style table of handmade chocolate treats. Every luscious chocolate-filled tray
sit beside information about the Bed & Breakfast sponsor.
Just to prepare, letís go over our Chocolate Lovers Festival strategy so
Stop, Look and Listen. Pause, breath slowly and deeply, scope out the
territory. That trickling sound may be the Springs of Eureka, or it may be the
trickle of the two chocolate fountains.
Remember to bring a camera, or a camera phone, a pen and note pad, and a
heavy winter coat. Take pictures of the creatively designed chocolate sculpture
and cakes. You might want to write down the secrets of Arkansasís best
To recap, stop, visualize, take a deep breath. Keep the pen and paper in hand
at all times and be sure to take lots of pictures. And donít forget your coat.
Chocolate must be kept cool.
If Iíve sufficiently slowed you down to truly appreciate the chocolate lovers
festival; to take in the rich visual and olfactory experiences and; you have
your hands filled with cameras, pencils, papers, small recording devices, and
your big bulky winter coat, it may, just may, slow you down enough that I can
get to the head of the line. See you there.
Details are online at www.eurekachocfest.org or by phone at 479-253-7888.
2005 Winning Cake Entry
Minimum Daily Requirement
The Spaniards first introduced Europeans to cacao when they discovered Aztecs
using cacao not only as a drink but also for trade and money. Cortez wrote a
letter to Charles V of Spain calling chocolate "The divine drink which builds up
resistance & fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits man to
walk for a whole day without food."
If you need a reason to consume chocolate: eating 2 ounces (50 grams) of
plain chocolate a day (with a minimum content of 70% chocolate solids) can be
beneficial to your health, by providing protection against heart disease and
high blood pressure as well as essential minerals and nutrients such as iron,
calcium and potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E. There are roughly 85 to
150 calories per ounce. A 1Ĺ-ounce square of chocolate may have as many
cancer-fighting antioxidants as a five-ounce glass of red wine.
Cortezí observation may have been right; chocolate does contain stimulants,
primarily theobromine, caffeine and serotonin. Research indicates that cacao
consumption produces a harmless euphoria.
Americans consume about 12 pounds of chocolate per capita per year. Many
consumers at the Eureka Springs Chocolate Lovers Festival consider that number