1. You can eat a lot of chocolate on an empty stomach, but the resulting stomach ache and crankiness is NOT worth it.
Our first year, Kurt and I finished running the Chocolate Chase 10K and went straight for the chocolate without eating any real food. We ate a LOT of chocolate, but not without major repercussions. Tight pants, queasiness and irritability (him, not me), to name just a few. I do NOT recommend this tactic.
2. If you are not an expert pastry chef, you probably won’t have any idea what you’re standing in line for (even after carefully reading the description) at the Harmony Ridge Gallery. But it doesn’t matter. If the Greenbrier Sporting Club made it, you want it. Trust me.
This year’s example: “Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme w/Yuzu Citrus Cream & Triple Chocolate Verrine.” Any idea what Yuzu Citrus Cream is? Verrine? Me either, but I knew it would be good.
3. Divide and conquer.
Dad and I held our spot in line for our Greenbrier Sporting Club treats, while Kurt and mom went over to Osage Pecans and got us all some chocolate covered nuts.
Also, in past years we stayed together, even if one person had no interest in a particular tasting. What a waste of time! This year, mom and dad went for dessert wine in chocolate cups, while I went for an espresso brownie and Kurt headed for a s’more pop.
4. Bring Tupperware and a cooler (or at least some Ziploc bags).
Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. You will enjoy your chocolate much more if you don’t eat it all at once.
Go to your top choice tasting locations first, or they may run out before you get there. This year, my dad was sorely disappointed that he didn’t get to try the Chocolate Stout. We were there just after noon, but it was already gone. I thought my poor dad was going to cry.
1. Getting squirted with a water gun by the guy on stilts (and having him tell me that he hadn’t been able to catch me in the race earlier that morning…)
4. The people. Is everybody in Lewisburg always this friendly? The staff and customers at the Greenbrier Baking Company on Friday night, everybody at the Wild Bean and Edith’s, and all our fellow festival-goers were all just so incredibly friendly. Chocolate must make people nice.
(Photo by Spencer Adkins)