Chocolate Expo a Sweet Success at Maritime Aquarium

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Some 5,800 people turn out for 3rd annual celebration of chocolates and specialty foods at the popular Connecticut family attraction

The combination of sea turtles and chocolate turtles, frogs and fudge, and seals and celebrity chefs drew 5,800 people to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Sun., Jan. 25 as the popular Connecticut family attraction hosted its third annual Chocolate Expo.

Some 40 local and regional chocolatiers and other specialty-food retailers set up booths throughout the Aquarium galleries to offer samplings and sales of their delicious and decadent chocolates, baked goods and other treats.

The Chocolate Expo goodies, offered with all Maritime Aquarium exhibits, would be enticement enough. But icing on the (chocolate) cake on Jan. 25 was that admission was less than the Aquarium’s normal prices and that the Aquarium stayed open an extra two hours, until 7 p.m.

“It was a tremendous day, although, admittedly, we’re all set back now in our New Year’s resolutions for losing weight,” said Brian Davis, president of The Maritime Aquarium. “We thank everyone for coming, and must acknowledge the work of the entire Aquarium staff to plan and execute such a busy day.”

First County Bank was presenting sponsor of Chocolate Expo at The Maritime Aquarium.

“First County Bank strongly values giving support to community events and our community resources, so we were thrilled to partner with The Maritime Aquarium and to have met so many Expo guests on Sunday,” said Karen M. Kelly, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for First County Bank.

Chocolate Expo presented Aquarium visitors with the chance to taste and purchase everything from the finest gourmet chocolates to festival staples like cotton candy and popcorn. Chocolate-covered items for sale included waffles, pretzels, Oreos, Twinkies, potato chips and even bacon. There were vinaigrettes, teas and even bath soaps hinted with chocolate.

Too much chocolate? Visitors also could browse and buy tarts, waffles, crepes, gelato, gourmet crackers, pumpkin seeds, quiches, cannolis, candy apples, pickles, granola, tomato sauces, babkas and more.

Free demonstrations using chocolate were presented by Tony Albanese (pastry designer and former assistant to Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss”), Barret Beyer (of Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen”) and Larry Rosenberg (recipe-book author and owner of Bacon Bites).

The Chocolate Expo is a production of Baum Image Group Inc. Learn more about Chocolate Expo, including future dates in the New York area, at http://www.thechocolateexpo.com.

For more information about The Maritime Aquarium, click on http://www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700.

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Dave Sigworth
The Maritime Aquarium
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