Gotham Park Ballroom, Intercontinental NY Times Square Hotel, June 27, 2015

More than 270 chocolate-lovers gathered in Manhattan to show, taste and tell.  There were Table Talks, lectures, a guided tasting, interactive displays, and raffle prizes.

As a volunteer I agreed to summarize Dan Pearson’s Heirloom Cacao Preservation update, Ed Seguine’s tasting, and Jonathan Wajskol’s Keynote, Navigating the Landscape of Visual Identity, for FCIA’s newsletter.  I was writing all night.

Matt and Yelena Caputo's table talk was a hot ticket.  Their elite chocolate catalogue has over 400 SKUs, so they know what sells and why. Caputo favorites include Dick Taylor, Marou, Omnom, Pump Street Bakery, and Taza, for design, branding, shape, and clarity of information.

Later, Jonathan Wajskol (designwajskol) likened the unwrapping of a bar to a striptease – attraction and anticipation.  Chocolate: all in good taste!

The most important message of FCIA's event? Preserve heirloom beans.  Just as interest and appreciation in fine chocolate is exploding, the very qualities that make fine chocolate fine are being threatened.  For much of the world, eating locally grown chocolate is nearly impossible, but asking farmers and politicians to care about the crops will come with a sweet, sustainable reward.

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