Wednesday, January 16, 2013


And speaking of persons of the female persuasion (as I was last post), ladies, this is the weekend to grab a girlfriend and make a made dash to the 6th Annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival.

Staged by the UCSC Women's Club, it's a fundraising event to provide scholarships for re-entry students. And what better way to support a worthy cause than by sampling chocolate—dark, milk, bitter, spicy, sweet, organic, and every variety in between—from some 28 vendors, from Santa Cruz and far beyond? It's all happening upstairs at the festive Cocoanut Grove ballroom this Sunday, January 20, from 1—4 pm.

My friend and I had way fun at this event last year. It's a psychedelic experience, staggering from table to table, tasting every kind of cacao-based goodie you can imagine, from candy, ganache, truffles and cupcakes to ice cream, toffee, and Mexican molé. Last year, the trendy flavor of choice was salty caramel and chocolate; this year, other spicy combinations are being dreamed up as we speak.

New this year will be wine vendors peddling their wares to those in need of liquid refreshment between chocolate hits. (Everyone says red wine and chocolate is a match made in Decadence Heaven, although I prefer chocolate and champagne, myself.)  To this end, Festival wine glasses can be purchased for $5 in advance or at the event. The $15 admission buys you six tastings of your choice (wine or chocolate), but you have to buy the glass to sip the vino.

Here's all the info, including online advance ticket purchases. And check this list of vendors to get you salivating!

Remember, friends don't let friends eat chocolate alone, so grab a buddy and go!

(Above: two suspicious characters sample the goods at last years Chocolate Festival. Photo by Stephanie Nielsen, for the UCSC Women's Club.)

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