Monday, October 20, 2008

An Ode to Eurochocolat

It was not too many autumn’s ago that I leapt on board an Air Alitalia flight bound for the Eurochocolat Festival in Perugia, Italy. Even with La Châtelaine Chocolat Co. barely open (and definitely not profitable), I knew intuitively that this sort of chocolate-inspired event would confirm my dream.
As I swerved my rental car through a network of narrow medieval streets and alleys toward the Corso Vannucci, I couldn’t believe my good fortune to meet other people whose passion for real chocolate motivated them, even if “non ho parlato italiano”.
The small to medium sized chocolate makers that lined the cobblestone streets welcomed me with samples of crunchy rocher chocolates, warm Italian hot chocolate, as well as a few recipes. I was impressed with the convivial spirit of the festival, rather than a vicious competitiveness!
It has been two years since Eurochocolat. Alas, my little chocolate shop in the Rocky Mountains has transformed from a mere dream to a cocoa-laden reality. I cannot help but believe the magical Italian spirit (along with hard work and wonderful employees) had something to do with it.

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