After taking a break last year, I was back as one of the “people’s” judges at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason.

The annual chocolate trade show brings together some of the more noted artisan chocolatiers, such as annual show favorite Amano Artisan Chocolate and Bay Area favorites like Charles Chocolates. But I was glad to see some newcomers, including European gourmet importer chocoMe US, Fera’wyn’s, and flyin’ noir.

It seems, too, that there are more and more non-chocolate items. There’s always the widely available CC Made caramel popcorn, and fancy cookies from Clarine’s Florentines. But I noticed a lot more toffee, which is a good thing since I’m always a fan of the buttery, nutty, candy creation.

Along with my all-time favorite Toffee Talk, there was also interesting creation from Cowboy Toffee Co. from Oakdale near Yosemite.

It does seem that a lot of vendors are holding back on the generous samplings, which might make the $30 admission fee a bit steep for those hoping to gorge on all-you-can-eat chocolate samples. But if you’re a chocolate lover looking for a one-stop place to shop for artisan chocolates, then make sure you check out the Chocolate Salon’s fall edition.

Two-tiered flavored chocolate truffles from Marco Paolo Chocolates

Two-tiered flavored chocolate truffles from Marco Paolo Chocolates

Always elegant chocolates and packages from Neo Cocoa

Always elegant chocolates and packages from Neo Cocoa

S'mores inspired toffee from newcomer Cowboy Toffee

S’mores inspired toffee from newcomer Cowboy Toffee

Charles Chocolates always satisfies, like these chocolate bars with hazelnuts

Charles Chocolates always satisfies, like these chocolate bars with hazelnuts

CC Made always has an impressive display of their caramel popcorn

CC Made always has an impressive display of their caramel popcorn

Caramel sauce are also available, such as these from La Fontaine

Caramel sauce are also available, such as these from La Chatelaine

Nice tin packaging from flyin' noir chocolates.

Nice tin packaging from flyin’ noir chocolates.

Unusual caged cupcake display from Plumeria Chocolates, which makes Hawaiian island-inspired flavors

Unusual caged cupcake display from Plumeria Chocolates, which makes Hawaiian island-inspired flavors

Display at another favorite of mine, Jade Chocolates.

Display at another favorite of mine, Jade Chocolates.

5 Responses to What’s New at the 2014 International Chocolate Salon in San Francisco

  1. I didn’t even know this was going on! I would have totally gone to this – that’s a decent price for all-you-can-eat.

    • Ben Ben says:

      Disclaimer, Shikha, the photos show the full chocolates that people buy at the show to take home. But the samples are typically cut into tiny pieces. Some vendors in the past have been nice and given out half or whole pieces, but every year there are fewer of those. 😉

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    Stingy with the samples? Oh no, that doesn’t sound good. I hope you got your fill of fine chocolates despite that. 😉

  3. Tara says:

    Aw, I should have went to this! I was invited to be a judge too but had a prior obligation. Your pictures are making me regret it.