Valentine’s Day can either make or break a winter: if you’re in love, and your beloved makes all the right moves, February can shine like a beacon in a sea of winter darkness. But if love is a distant memory or an unimaginable aspiration, it’s a day to be avoided like the Bermuda Triangle of winter blahs.
And that’s why God invented chocolate. If you’re in love, chocolate is a known aphrodisiac. But if you’re in love, so is everything else. More to the point, regardless of your love status, chocolate has been shown to have the same effect on brain chemistry as sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. And of course there’s nothing to stop you from combining any or all of the above until the desired effect is attained. Dark chocolate is also a known anti-carcinogen. So if you need a little help making it through this potentially soul-sucking month, get yourself down to the Marché Bonsecours this weekend and spend some time drooling over God’s gift to your taste buds, your brain chemistry, and your health.
Je t’aime en chocolat features over 40 exhibitors at the Marché du Chocolat. There’s also the Académie du Chocolat, where you can learn from the masters how to make tartelettes au chocolat, truffles, doughnuts, a gourmet Valentine’s brunch, chocolate mousse and other desserts. And don’t miss the fashion show featuring designer dresses made partially from edible chocolate! (There are so many jokes to be made here, but I won’t even go there.)
Upon entering the Marché du Chocolat, I was offered a free taste of salted butter caramel spread, made by Marie-Ève Langlois, a private caterer who will come to your house, cook a gourmet meal for you and your friends, clean up, and leave. If the caramel spread is any indication, this is definitely a winning bet. I also spoke to members of Cuisiniers sans frontières who go to developing countries and teach young people how to cook. Upscale exhibitors like Cacao Barry and Callebaut hawked their wares while Sweet Isabelle offered cookie decorating onsite and ChocoStyle appealed to everyone’s inner princess with their chocolate stilettos.
The ubiquitous macaroons and heart-shaped truffle exhibitors sat side-by-side with interlopers like Tupperware and Bad Monkey Popcorn. Choco Mango offered up wine and chocolate pairings (with free tastings!) and if you’ve always wanted dessert-shaped earrings, you could find them at Créations J’en Veux Un. Bar le Lab had an informative and tasty display of their cocktail syrups, and cupcakes the likes of which I’ve never seen before were there for the picking at Sugar Lady.
Chocolate: the best proven remedy for keeping the winter dementors at bay.
Je t’aime en chocolat is at the Marché Bonsecours until 8 February. Free entry.