Walking into the fourth annual Festival of Chocolate at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry last weekend, the first booth you're greeted with is The Sweet Tooth.
There, guests find an array of colorful toothbrushes (I got orange with blue bristles) and get their picture with life-sized candy props.
After snapping a photo with a giant Butterfinger, chocoholics can meander through choco-centric vendors like Kookie Krums, who specialize in gourmet cookie edible arrangements. On the day I attended, Kookie Krums also brought along brownies, muffins, and cupcakes with emphasis on chocolate.
Chocolatey treats are purchased using chocolate coins, ranging from 1-12 coins per item.
Making my way to the adult chocolate clubhouse, I found sweet, smoky chocolate BBQ sauce. I noshed on sweet and spicy cocoa dip. Even the chocolate martinis, how to describe the chocolate martinis?
Sufficiently chocolate-fied, I made my way to the Coleman Science Work Theater for some chocolate demos. Chef Sinai Grove made a delicious salted caramel chocolate peanut dessert (and I'm typically not a fan of caramel). Other events included a Cocoa Couture Fashion Show, with fashion students from the International Academy of Design and Technology and the Arts Academy exhibiting their design and creativity, by making dresses from at least 50 percent chocolate or chocolate wrappers.
The winner received a basket of chocolate valued at $250. One can only imagine what next year's festival of chocolate will entail.