The holiday season of sweets started early for me as I spent this morning tasting various chocolate sweets as part of my duties as a judge at the annual San Francisco Fall Chocolate Salon.
The chocolate tasting event, the smaller version of a larger chocolate salon in the spring put on by Taste TV, took place at Fort Mason in San Francisco on a lovely cool fall day. This is the second year Taste TV has presented this smaller fall version of the salon, and it seemed like there were fewer chocolate vendors on display.
This actually meant that the salon wasn’t packed like it typically is, and that maneuvering to every table was a bit easier, giving me a chance to try pretty much every vendor there. There were some regular presenters I’ve seen every year, but also several new chocolate makers, which shows that there’s always someone who decides to pursue his or her dream of making chocolate treats for a living.
You can see the full list of salon winners on the TasteTV site (click on the 2011 fall winners). This is the first time since I’ve been judging where I agree with 80 percent of the winners voted by my other esteemed judges. I have to say I was especially impressed by newcomer Sixth Course from San Francisco that had some amazing quality truffles, including a distinctive rosemary caramel flavor and a sweet and luxurious Grand Marnier flavor.
In terms of trends, I noticed that several people were playing with new flavors like chipotle while others continue to experiment with popular flavors of lavender, sea salt, and bacon.
Here’s a look at some of the sights and tastes of the fall salon:
- What’s New at the 9th Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
- Foodie Weekend: Bacon & Beer Classic + San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
- Chocolate Tasting on a Warm Spring Day
- What’s New at the 2014 International Chocolate Salon in San Francisco
- Weekend Filled With Food Shows: Good Food Awards + Winter Fancy Food
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