By Leslie Yager
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Connecticut chocolate lovers will be
able to shop for gourmet sweets and unique treats at the Maritime
Aquarium at Norwalk.
On Sun., Jan. 26, Chocolate World Expo will once again bathe the aquarium in chocolate.
About 35 local and regional vendors will offer free tastings and sales of
their delicious and decadent chocolates, baked goods, gelato and
Vendors will be set up throughout the Aquarium’s galleries, which
will be fully open that day – at a lower cost than normal – making the
event an outstanding family value.
“This unique event offers The Maritime Aquarium, already one of the best places for family fun in
Connecticut, and fills it with dozens of fine chocolatiers,” said Chris
Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director in a release.
“Next we fold in free cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs
Barret Beyer and Lawrence Rosenberg. Then we bake your noodle with free
shows by mentalist Marc Salem. Finally, we serve it all up for a 25
percent discount on regular Aquarium admission. You’d have to be dipped
in nuts not to come," joked Loynd in the release.
Expo/Aquarium visitors will find not only traditional and gourmet
chocolates, but also unique offerings like chocolate tarts,
chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate balsamic dressing,
chocolate-covered bacon and even chocolate-scented bath soaps.
Expo producer Marvin Baum said Chocolate World Expo is for people
who are serious about chocolate and who love unique specialty
foods. “Vendors at the Expo typically offer small tasting-sized portions of their products,” 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
for yourself or to give as gifts.”
For ready-to-eat treats, Aurora Gourmet will have their chocolate
fountains flowing, while Bonjour Creperie will be making chocolate
crepes and Pika’s Farm Table will serve 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, cheeses, gelato and even fine soaps and bath products. Cooking demonstrations using chocolate will be led by celebrity chef Barret Beyer (Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen”) at noon, 2, 4 & 6 p.m.; and by executive chef Lawrence Rosenberg, recipe-book author and owner of Bacon Bites, at 1, 3 & 5 p.m.
Plus, in place of the Aquarium’s regular daily IMAX® movies,
Chocolate World Expo instead will present five free 40-minute shows by
“mentalist” Marc Salem in the IMAX Theater. An expert on non-verbal
communication, Salem has been astounding audiences for decades –
and also Mike Wallace in a “60 Minutes” segment – with his seeming
ability to read minds and perform mental magic. Salem’s shows will be at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30, 3:00 & 4:30 p.m. Seating is strictly limited to 300 seats per show. Audiences will be seated on a first-come, first-All of The Maritime Aquarium exhibits will be open
during the Expo – and will stay open two hours longer than normal: from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“Coming so closely to Valentine’s Day, it’s a perfect opportunity to buy some sweets for your sweet,” Loynd said in the release. “Plus, with the Expo occurring on the Sunday when the NFL doesn’t have any games, there’s no reason for anyone to stay home.”
Special ticket prices on Jan. 26 are just $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3-12. These prices include
Chocolate World Expo admission, all Maritime Aquarium exhibits, the
cooking demonstrations and Marc Salem mentalist shows.
For more information about Chocolate World Expo and to purchase tickets, go to