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I'd never been to one of these gigs, so it was interesting.  The first aroma I encountered was that of tons of spices.  I thought they'd be related to some variety of chocolate bing made or sampled, but they were just spices being sold by a spice vendor.  A little odd, especially at the entrance.

I actually thought there would be more vendors, but perhaps I had more grandiose expectations.  Favorite was the Praus booth.  They were sampling every bar they had and they'd really speak at length with you.  The Cluizels and Guittards were there and the upstarts as well, including one who loaded her bars with all manner of antioxidant ingredients (cranberries, acai, nuts, herbs, chili, etc.) and seemed to enjoy giving mini-lessons on the nutritional advantages/sustainalility/eco-friendliness of her bars.  They weren't my favorites but she was nice to speak with.

Anyone else have a similar experience?  Is this typical of chocolate shows?  Just asking.  BTW -- there were some bargains to be had on Sunday.  Lots of places offering 20-30% off.  I picked up a 72% bar of Payard for $6 (usually $8) and even then the associate offered me 2 for $10.  They're decent sized, so I went for it.  The Pralu folks had these bundles of about 9 or so of their 50 gm samples that were $40 and they had them going for $25.  I think I paid 30 Euros for them in Paris, so it was a bargain if you like them (I did). 

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