Another chocolate show! Stuff more chocolate in my gaping maw! I am a hellmouth! For chocolate!

For those of you whose mothers are not art historians and did not drag you to every museum in the western world to look at paintings painted by people who are very, very dead right now, a hellmouth is this:

It’s a mouth that opens to hell and people fall in. But in my case, it was chocolate.

So Snorth and I went to the Palisades Mall (greatest mall EVAR) for a chocolate show that was being held there. We figured that even if we didn’t buy anything, the entrance fee goes to help developmentally disabled people, so good karma points for us there. But we did buy things, quite a few things. Not only were there chocolatiers, there was wine people and cheese people and baked-goods people. We were walking around and I saw a guy selling maple-syrup products. And he was spinning maple syrup into cotton candy, so hell, I had to get that. It was good, but my brain kept saying, “This is cotton candy! This should taste like incredibly fake raspberry! And be blue! I don’t understand!” I think I like maple candy better. But the best part for me was at the very end. I saw an older woman walking around eating a pickle on a stick, and I accosted her and demanded she tell me where she acquired this pickle. She told me at the end of the row, so I zipped down to the end of the row and sure enough, one of my most beloved things greeted me, a Lower East Side jewish pickle vendor. I was in heaven. I made little squealing noises while I made my pickle purchases (new pickles for my mom, sauerkraut for my dad, pickled tomatoes for me). I later noticed the chocolate-covered pickles they were selling and was slightly appalled and a little intrigued, but I had run out of money and so (probably wisely) did not purchase one.

Let me explain. My father grew up in New York in the 30s and 40s, so he is all about the bialies and knishes and pickles and other Eastern European immigrant food. Every so often he gets the cravings, so we drive down to the Lower East Side and pick up an insane amount of pickled goodness from one of the vendors and then the Buick smells of brine and vinegar for a week. Once, we went down near Passover. Passover, for those of you that don’t know, has horseradish playing a big role in it. Outside the pickle vendor was a man wearing a Vietnam-era gas mask. He was standing in front of what looked like a small wood chipper and he was pushing horseradish roots into the wood chipper and putting the final product in jars. I thought he was crazy until the wind shifted. I was standing a good ten feet away and the air, it BURNED. Through tearing eyes and drippy nose, I silently apologized to gas-mask-man for mocking his headgear. And I had a new appreciation for pepper spray. Owie owie.

Oh, and I did buy some chocolate at the chocolate show. Organic, fair trade strawberry-balsamic truffles. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ll tell you if they’re good or not.

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