By Michael Cervin
It was recorded that when Spanish explored Cortez arrived in Mexico in 1518 he found that Montezuma drank 50 cups of cocoa daily. Of course those “cups” of cocoa were refereed to as jar or pitchers, so it’s no surprise that Montezuma eventually passed away.
No matter. Chocolate still makes the world go around. In fact when I travel I often bring chocolates to my parents, from places like Austria, Belgium and Oahu (yeah, I meant Hawaii). Bean to bar chocolates are a big deal these days as people are looking for handmade, unique foods. So if you love chocolate, and I don’t need to underline, bold, or italicize the word chocolate because it needs no special adornment, then head to Portland (Oregon…Portland, Maine doesn’t understand chocolate) for the 7th Annual Chocolate Fest.
First off Portland is a really cool city with lots of areas, like the Pearl, and great restaurants and nice people, and it’s a reasonable drive to the town of Tillamook on the stunning Oregon coast where they make cheese, and I love cheese as much as I love chocolate. Oh, sorry. Yes, the cocoa bean gets full due at this event.
And the monies raised go to help the World Forestry Center which is a non-profit organization founded in 1964 whose mission is to educate and inform people about the world’s forests and trees, and environmental sustainability which doesn’t have a whole lot to do with trees other than cocoa beans grow on trees, and we should always be nice to trees, and abundantly nice to cocoa trees.
Over 9,000 people attend, most in search of the 70 chocolate vendors who pass out samples of heaven, many of whom are based in the Pacific Northwest. There are nine wineries and breweries, and a handful of restaurants in attendance too so you can get a great overview of why Portland and the Northwest are places you want to visit. Answer the call of chocolate and heard to Portland (Oregon…Portland, Maine doesn’t understand chocolate).
Jan. 18-20 (Friday 6:00-9:30pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm)
Portland Convention Center
777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd.
Cost: $12 (are you kidding? I can eat 12 bucks worth of chocolate in 12 minutes!)
After splurging, you may want to head to Portland’s unique, trendy and cult-ish Voodoo Donuts (I’ve been, it’s pretty incredible), or take a load off and drive a wee bit to the Columbia River Gorge and visit the area’s 90 waterfalls, or stay in downtown to explore the multitude of micro-breweries. There’s also Powell’s Books who carry my four travel books, but that’s not really the point.
First things first: check the DealAngel hotel results for Portland now!