“Cacao” will be the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the ninth annual International Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Enjoy three days of delicious activities complete with sampling, cooking demos, educational talks, and kids’ events, from Friday, Jan. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 25, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day.
Learn where chocolate comes from with an interactive cacao display. Visitors can meet Fairchild’s curators of tropical fruit, who have traveled the world researching how Theobroma cacao is harvested and prepared across cultures. Watch the process that takes cacao pods and turns them into the chocolate we find in our favorite desserts.
Ever wondered how it grows? Step into the Tropical Fruit Pavilion and one of the United States’ only outdoor rainforests to see real cacao pods growing on trees from tropical rainforests of the Americas. Be sure to take in the lovely aroma of the chocolatescented “Sharry Baby” orchids planted throughout the garden.
The Chocolate Festival wouldn’t be complete without delectable treats. Artisan chocolatiers will dish out samples of their best chocolates available for purchase. Get inspired by chocolate poetry recited by students from W.R. Thomas Middle School before the cooking demos from celebrated chefs showing recipes for the most delicious chocolate dishes right on time for Valentine’s Day. For guests over 21, the Beer Sampling Garden is the place to discover the unique brews that pair well with chocolate.
During the festival and through May 31, glass art by world-renowned American artist Dale Chihuly will be exhibited throughout all 83 acres as part of the annual Art at Fairchild. Take a walk through the garden and see the large-scale glass sculptures among tropical plants, in lily pools, and through bright vistas.
The International Chocolate Festival is sponsored by Whole Foods Market and the Mexico Tourism Board.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. Coral Gables. Admission to the festival is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6- 17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. Eco-discounts and military discounts are available.
For more information and a complete schedule, call 305-667-1651 or visit www.fairchildgarden.org.