Columbian Cocoa… in Miami?
Miami, one of the hottest cities in the country. Known for its gorgeous beaches, art communities, and various culture-based foods, it is a hot spot for tourists looking to experience something new. For 12 years now, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has hosted one of the most tourist and chocolate lover filled festivals around the country. The International Chocolate Festival is exactly what it sounds like. People from all over the world visit this tasty 3-day event from the 19th of January to the 21st, and are exposed to every form of chocolate imaginable; Chocolate fountains, bars, cremes, fudge, drinks, ice cream, etc.
Although the festival’s title speaks for itself, chocolate isn’t the only thing to work with while at the festival. Several stands give visitors plenty of options for sweet AND savory options, all in a close range of another. Foods include Paella, Cinnamon rolls, Crepes, Conch Fritters, and even a business of olive oil straight from Greece. These options gave people the chance to choose other foods if they already ate enough chocolate, or just not into chocolate.
Fairchild’s garden takes up a grand amount of 83 acres, so there is something to do for everyone, including first-hand looks at how Cocoa is grown and harvested in Columbia. There are also tons of lectures and demonstrations of cooking methods of chocolate that are spread out throughout the weekend, giving amateur chefs a chance to learn from different cultures on cooking.
The ChocoWalk is something exclusive to Fairchild, and it is a meaningful experience as you walk through the rain forest, and see first-hand the life cycle of a cocoa plant, which is not something that you see everyday. Although there are no specific activities meant for kids, they are free to roam throughout the beautiful piece of land the garden provides. Local musicians also come and entertain visitors, which brings a good size crowd to sit down and eat while enjoying them.
Miami is already known for being a hotspot for tourists, but the festival adds a special kick to it, involving chocolate from different nations, created in different ways that leave an exquisite taste in your mouth. Hopefully more and more people can be a part of this magnificent event, as it something for everyone to look forward to at the beginning of each year.