GARDEN CITY, NY — It seems like you can cover just about anything in chocolate and people will eat it. Thousands lined up for a taste of the chocolate madness that ranged from the usual chocolate covered marshmallows and fruit to chocolate covered bacon and chocolate cheese.


This was the second year the Baum Image Group hosted the Chocolate World Expo on Long Island at the Cradle of Aviation in Garden City. The event featured over 70 unique vendors of chocolate, wine, beer, baked goods, gelato, and other specialty treats.


Upon first walking into the expo, many stood and stared at all the vendors looking for the fan favorites ranted and raved by those leaving the venue. Every vendor had a line of at least 10 people fighting their way to the front for a free sample.


The longest line could be found at Bacon Bites, the favorite vendor famous for their chocolate covered bacon and peanut butter covered bacon. By 2pm the infamous Bacon Bites vendor were already out of all their bacon. The odd chocolate creation was an overwhelming success.


Along side Bacon Bites was Oliver Kita, the Chocolatier of Oliver Kita Fine Confections in the Hudson Valley featuring his unique Parisian chocolates for consumers to try and buy. “We really enjoy the show because it’s just a great festival and a good time for everyone that loves chocolate,” said Kita.


Long lines were also found towards the back for the not so typical Chocolate Expo vendors. Such vendors included Chatham’s Brewery, the first and only brewery at the expo featuring a chocolate stout or Bella’s Home-Baked goods for biscotti treats sold by a vendor who could even tell you how many Weight Watcher points each biscotti was. That long line blended with the stretch of people at the next vendor waiting for a taste of Palatine Cheese’s fudge chocolate cheese.


On the second level of the venue, about 20 people crowded around Whipped Up, a company famous for their unique “Unbakeables.” The vendor featured all types of edible cookie dough made without raw egg. Children crowded the front shouting out for a sample of all types of flavors, mainly “Original” made of chocolate chips and peanut butter and “Birthday Cake” made with rainbow sprinkles.


According to Andrew Parton, Executive Director of the Cradle of Aviation, last year the event brought in a total of about 5 thousand people. This year the event had already had 4,800 walk through its doors by 2 o’clock with five hours to go. The successful turnout was definitely attributed to this year’s unique array of 70 vendors. “There’s any variety of stuff that is not your norm,” said Parton.


Molloy College student Tori Lembo, 21 attended the Chocolate World Expo for the first time this year and said she would be back next year. “It’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot of different things to try here from the wine to the chocolate, and there’s even biscotti! I’m so glad I found out about this.”


Even with all the free samples one could imagine it was hard not to walk out with something sweet for later.


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