Fairchild's Chocolate Festival, 2014
Noris Ledesma offers a taste of chocolate nibs to Alma Breeden and Linda Notery. Noris demonstrated how to heat the nibs and add honey (12 ounces for a pound of nibs) and annatto for coloring. Honey she said is "one of the best preservatives known and will help preserve the chocolate."
Colorful pods of cacao are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's genetic collection in Puerto Rico.
Charles McDonald demonstrated how to make dark chocolate caramel corn to a tent full of chocolate lovers. Popcorn, brown sugar, salt, light corn syrup, baking soda, vanilla, 12 cups of popcorn, dry honey roasted peanuts and melted dark chocolate all added up to a great snack. (The recipe will be on the Garden's website.) McDonald owns Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Coral Gables. More cooking demonstrations are scheduled Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with Chef Mariana Cortez making vegan brownies. Four demonstrations a day are held in the Whole Foods Market Culinary Tent.