Sunday, December 2, 2007

Salon du Chocolat

Today after church I took the girls to the 2nd Annual "Salon du Chocolat" exhibition in Moscow. Top chocolatiers from around the world were there, along with local chocolate boutiques/bakeries, mass-market chocolate companies from Europe, and random exhibitors from the food and appliance industries. Here are the girls with a horse made from dark chocolate. The maker is "Konfael," our favorite Russian chocolate maker. Many of you have been lucky to get their chocolates as gifts from us!

The girls also liked this American money by them. A uniquely Russian offering is the chocolate sausage! I had read in the paper how the exhibit changes to adapt to the local culture. (So where were the chocolate cigarettes and vodka bottles?) This shop is amazing; they create unbelievable works of art out of chocolate and have been commissioned to provide gifts to countless presidents, visiting dignitaries, etc. My mom and dad have both visited this cafe while here and liked it, too.

There was an area where kids could paint pictures on white chocolate or get their faces painted with chocolate, but we decided to skip that this time. You can visit either of their Moscow stores any weekend between 11 and 2 paint then; it was way too crowded at the exhibition for that.

There were traditional dances performed throughout the show from countries where cocoa beans grow; we saw dances from Ivory Coast and Malaysia. Here are the Malaysian dancers. The drummers from Ivory Coast were great, too; fellow countrymen who are living in Moscow couldn't help but join in and dance to the beat.

The sculptures and artwork made out of chocolate were gorgeous. I saw one sculpture that someone must have tasted, too... Luckily not by my girls! Here is a slide show of our favorites.

Ahh... Then there was the FASHION. Yes, fashion. The first thing we saw upon entering the exhibit hall was this woman having a cigarette with her boyfriend. I thought her dress was rather revealing. Until I realized that it's not even a dress. It's painted on! She was advertising a magazine that was sponsoring the event. How her "apron" fits the theme escapes me, but she sure turned a lot of heads...

Then there was the actual "high fashion" crafted from chocolate. I love how bewildered Katya was as she checked it out!!!

Here is a slideshow of the dresses/jewelry made from chocolate.

There were also booths where you could get makeovers and beauty treatments using cosmetics and other products containing cocoa butter or actual chocolate.

One of the last exhibits I saw had absolutely nothing to do with chocolate, but it made my day! Campbell's Soup is now selling broth in Russia, and not only in the high-end foreign specialty shops!!!! They were giving out samples to convince a skeptic Russian public! Hooray!!!! No more having to always make my chicken stock from scratch!!!!! (This has been one the biggest inconveniences for me here).

I had heard that there would also be a chocolate toilet and Natalia was quite disappointed that we didn't get to see that, too. As she put it, maybe someone used it so they had to get rid of it?


Tina in CT said...

Love Natalia's logic!

I bet the fragrance in the air must have been wonderful!

Katya said...

Ummm... so HUNGEE... must go find chocolate NOW

Rachael said...

I'm sad because I'm down to the very last little bit of my Russian chocolate. I'm saving it for emergencies only!! (We stocked up when we were there!)

Annie said...

I loved this! Thanks for sharing! I am SO glad I found your blog. Second best thing to being in Russia.