Less than three weeks before Valentine’s Day, shop for amazing sweets for your sweetie from some of the region’s best chocolatiers on Sunday, Jan. 27 when Chocolate World Expo takes over The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
The Expo, one of the largest consumer-oriented chocolate events in the United States, will feature approximately 40 regional vendors who will offer tastings and sales of their delicious and decadent products. They’ll be set up in Newman’s Own Hall (near the seals) and throughout the Aquarium’s galleries, which will be fully open that day as well – all, for no extra cost to visitors.
“The Maritime Aquarium is such a great facility that there are only a few extreme ways to make it better – and one very appealing idea is to add in pounds and pounds of the finest chocolate in the world,” said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “The Expo will be a whole day of fun and yum. Live turtles and chocolate turtles. Frogs and fudge. Crabs and cream-filleds. Touch tanks and truffles. Jellyfish and raspberry-jellied. Somebody stop me now!”
Expo producer Marvin Baum said Chocolate World Expo is for people who are serious about chocolate, not for folks looking to load up on candy commonly available in most grocery aisles.
“Vendors at the Expo typically offer small tasting-sized portions of their products, which are to be consumed right away,” Baum said. “Think of the chocolate tastings in the way you might think of a wine tasting at a winery: you get a small sample to try and you often get to talk with the person who made the product. If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product directly at the show for yourself or to give as gifts.”
Expo/Aquarium visitors will find traditional chocolates, but also unique offerings like chocolate-covered bacon and – appropriate for the Aquarium – one vendor’s “chocolate shark bites.”
For ready-to-eat treats, Pika’s Farm Table of Troy, N.Y., will be making authentic Belgian-style waffles dipped in a choice of white, dark or milk chocolate.
But Chocolate World Expo isn’t entirely about chocolate. Vendors also will present baked goods, specialty foods, gelato and even fine soaps and bath products.
All of The Maritime Aquarium exhibits will be open on Jan. 27 – and will stay open two hours longer than normal: from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Coming so closely to Valentine’s Day, the timing is perfect,” Loynd said. “Plus, with no NFL playoff games that Sunday, there’s no reason for anyone to stay home.”
Special admission prices on Jan. 27 are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 2-12, and these include Chocolate World Expo and all Maritime Aquarium exhibits. Discounted tickets to include an IMAX movie also will be available.