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Chocolate event makes for one sweet Sunday

Taste of Chocolate to cover Old Town
By: Gus Thomson, Journal staff writer
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When 200 or so chocolate lovers converge on Old Town Auburn this Sunday for the 4th annual Taste of Chocolate fest, they’ll all have their own favorites to hunt out among the dozens of samplings. Spread out among 32 businesses will be a wide array of chocolate treats. At M and Company, they’ll find peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake cupcakes. Poppies spa will be offering an assortment of chocolate-covered mixed nuts, while Courthouse Coffee will have heart-shaped chocolate waffles. At the Auburn Alehouse, chocolate stout cake with barley wine ganache. Nancey Holland will be giving out hugs and chocolate kisses as a member of the Sugar Plump Fairy group of mirthmakers. But she’ll also be on the lookout for dark chocolate, her personal favorite. And if that dark chocolate has nuts in it, the discovery only gets better. Holland, like most others at Sunday’s event, is a confirmed chocoholic. She still remembers her first taste of chocolate – a “chocolate frosty” soft ice cream cone at the Foster’s Freeze in Auburn. Her yen for chocolate reached its zenith when she was pregnant with her first child and cravings took over. At one point, she recalls with a laugh, sipping Hershey’s chocolate syrup from the can with a straw. Chocolate straight from the can isn’t on Sunday’s menu but there will be several opportunities to taste more refined examples. Sierra Moon jewelry will be featuring French chocolate macaroons with Swiss chocolate butter cream prepared by Alice Enochs Shreve of Latitudes Restaurant, a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Pat Enochs, Latitudes co-owner and Alice’s mother, said the macaroons are a departure from what Americans have gotten used to – no coconut but a mélange of almond flour and egg whites that creates a light and fluffy cookie. “The Swiss chocolate butter cream is to die for,” Enochs said. “It melts in your mouth.” Linda Robinson, co-organizer of the event on behalf of the Old Town Business Association, said the event is a labor of love for her organization and the Auburn Association of University Women. The university women’s association had put the event on for several years and when the business association resurrected the event, the women’s organization again became involved. As well as tickets for the tastings, raffle tickets will be sold. Proceeds from the event benefit the Old Town Medical Museum and university women education programs. Robinson said the event goes on rain or shine. With its timing so close to Valentine’s Day, it’s a natural for couples. But Robinson said it’s open to everyone. “In the past, I’ve discovered that mothers bring their young daughters, seniors love this event and we’ve seen a few single men too,” Robinson said. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com. __________ Taste of Chocolate What: More than 30 merchants serving chocolate-inspired goodies When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday Where: Three Old Town Auburn check-in locations at Placer County Courthouse, Mary Belle’s Restaurant, Old Town Dessert Café Cost: $20 for 10 tastes, three more for $5 Call: (530) 888-1585