Sugar Rush

Scottsdale Culinary Festival: A Pretty "Meh" Showing At The Wine and Chocolate Experience, With A Few Exceptions

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Many vendors at the event -- we won't name names -- clearly had no idea where their chocolate came from. In fact, when asked where the cacao was grown, we were repeatedly told "Belgium." This did not inspire our confidence in their product. Zak's Chocolate was a much-welcomed exception to this rule. The company brought three single-origin 70% cacao dark chocolate offerings -- a honey-like bar from Belize, a citrusy one from Madagascar, and a toasty Papua New Guinea with the single most delectable finish we've ever experienced from a dark chocolate. We look forward to tasting more of this in the future.

Xocolatl also brought an impressive display. Their confections were intricately beautiful, each painted with an ornate design. We were partial to the Baklava-style bite, which featured a layer of almond, walnut, and pistachio marzipan, and a second layer of white chocolate infused with lemon zest and local mesquite honey. We found it to be thoughtful, complex, and well-composed.

Delice Bistro's warm European-style drinking chocolate was also a delicious highlight of the event.

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Zaida Dedolph
Contact: Zaida Dedolph