New England Chocolate Festival

Our signature consumer education event is the New England Chocolate Festival, held each October in New England.

Past consumer events

February 2019
Valentine’s week consumer education
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Throughout the week of February 14, FCCI instructors presented special lectures and guided tastings at Cambridge City Hall, Cambridge Public Library, and Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe attended by over 50 local chocolate lovers. Special thanks go to Saffana Syed of the City of Cambridge and Alyssa and Teddy Applebaum of Elmendorf for their support.

January 11, 2019
Día de Reyes
Boston, Massachusetts
FCCI collaborated with the Mexican Consulate of Boston to provide traditional hot chocolate to welcome young immigrant students to a Día de Reyes celebration hosted by the City of Boston. Thank you to Cónsul General Graciela Gómez García and Cultural Affairs Officer Michelle Arroyo for the invitation.

October 13, 2018
New England Chocolate Festival
Boston, Massachusetts
FCCI hosted the inaugural New England Chocolate Festival at the Boston Center for Adult Education. The Festival had over 800 attendees, 16 chocolate makers and chocolatiers sampling and selling, 44 speakers from 12 countries leading 24 classes featuring 121 chocolates, a Chocolate Sensorium with three demonstration machines and 18 cacao-chocolate products to sample, and a Chocolate Escape Room. Our planning committee included representatives of Equal Exchange, Experience Chocolate, Goodnow Farms Chocolate, Partnering Resources, and Taza Chocolate.

August 13, 2018
Ethics, Craft, and Flavor: a conversation with the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute
Tokyo, Japan
Jose Lopez Ganem and Carla D. Martin led a chocolate tasting and pairing conversation focused on ethics, craft, and flavor in collaboration with our colleagues at Dandelion Chocolate Japan.

July 27, 2018
Presentation and discussion with Dr. David Guest
Cambridge, Massachusetts
FCCI and Harvard University hosted the Australia-based plant pathologist Dr. David Guest for a presentation and discussion on “The rise and fall of cocoa in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – why people matter.”

June 19, 2018
Meet Your Chocolate Maker
Canton, Massachusetts
FCCI co-sponsored a free tasting event of chocolate made from Peruvian cacao. This event featured the craftspeople behind Goodnow Farms Chocolate and Ucayali River Cacao as well as a horizontal tasting of chocolate made with Ucayali cacao from several other makers, including Ambrosia Pastry Co., Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Coco Chocolate Co., Lemuel Chocolate, Letterpress Chocolate, Petite Patrie Chocolate, Sirene Chocolate, StoneGrindz Chocolate, Tribe Chocolate, and Ultimately Chocolate. Beer from our hosts at Trillium Brewing Company was available for purchase with pairing suggestions.

June 14, 2018
Women Igniting Chocolate: A Panel Discussion & Chocolate Tasting
Ann Arbor, Michigan
FCCI participated in a panel discussion and chocolate tasting at ZingTrain featuring Alex Clark from Bon Bon Bon, Carla Martin from the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute, Jenny Samaniego from Conexion Chocolates, Jody Hayden from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate, and moderator Emily Case of Zingerman’s Delicatessen.

May 2018
Visits to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Tabasco, Mexico
FCCI team members conducted a research trip to Mexico in May, offering a lecture-tasting at MUCHO Mundo Chocolate Museo, visiting our scholarly collaborators at the INIFAP research institute, and speaking with several cacao and chocolate producers.

March 2018
National Farmworker Awareness Week
FCCI participated in National Farmworker Awareness week with this blog post and bilingual (English and Spanish) social media posts. See all the posts on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter accounts or using the hashtags #farmworkerawareness and #trabajodecacao.

February 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands
FCCI team members participated in the Chocoa event from February 21-25, presenting at the European Markets Academy, Chocolate Makers Forum, and Festival. Of special interest was the FCCI Cacao Grading Workshop, attended by two dozen cacao and chocolate professionals from seven countries. FCCI Cacao Grader Intensive alums and new users of the FCCI cacao sampling protocol practiced cacao evaluation together at this event.

December 14, 2017
Tasting of rare Venezuelan cacao and fine Italian chocolate
Boston, Massachusetts
Giovanni Acerbi of DOMORI, one of Italy’s premier chocolate companies, and Carla D. Martin of FCCI, hosted approximately 40 Boston area chocolate lovers at a special tasting and discussion at Aeronaut Brewing Company. The group worked through a guided tasting of some of the rarest, most prized cacao varieties from Venezuela and shared stories from the farm where the cacao is grown. They were also joined by Eric Parkes of Somerville Chocolate and Alexandra Whisnant of gâté comme des filles, who prepared an exquisite Domori Sur del Lago chocolate mousse for the occasion.

December 1, 2017
Specialty coffee and chocolate at HUBweek
Boston, Massachusetts
FCCI partnered with New England area coffee and chocolate experts Erika Koss of St. Mary’s University, Monica Rogan of Goodnow Farms Chocolate, and Barth Anderson of Barrington Coffee Roasting Company to host a conversation on sustainability and specialty production for Boston’s HUBweek. More than 100 community members joined us in the discussion.

November 2017
Chocolate Makers Unconference and Northwest Chocolate Festival
Seattle, Washington
FCCI representatives presented on four separate occasions during the specialty chocolate events in Seattle in November, covering our work toward international cacao quality standards and the FCCI-UC Davis survey project. Approximately 200 community members joined us for tasting and action-research discussions throughout the weekend.

September 11, 2016
Chocolate and tea pairing with gâté comme des filles
Somerville, Massachusetts
FCCI and gâté comme des filles hosted a chocolate and tea pairing at Aeronaut Brewing Company.