After years of writing about events in Toronto, there are times when I still can’t help but feel like an imposter. I’m not – I’ve never attended an event and not covered it fully, but there have been times when I’ve found myself wedged against a buffet table at the ROM, balancing a plate of pastries and a glass of wine, while I try to avoid getting in the shot for Fashion Television or the CBC, that I begin to doubt my credentials. Nevermind that the lovely PR ladies all assure me that the fact that I give them any coverage at all puts me in their good books (you wouldn’t believe the number of people who attend media previews for the free grub and never write a word about the event or show), but as a kind of weird looking gal writing for various Internet sites, I still often feel as if I’ve somehow sneaked in and could get caught and kicked out at any second.
When in the same situation but also presented with all the free chocolate I can stuff into my little chocolate-loving mouth, my guilt does overtime. Not the least because chocolates are one of those things that you are only supposed to have one or two of. You don’t want to make a pig of yourself, after all. So when we walked into the Ganong Chocs-o-Fun party last night, the feeling of being “kids in a candy store” was close to the surface.
Apparently Ganong does this delightful event every year, but this year it was a real celebration. Not only have they revamped their assorted chocolate collections, but author David Folster (who had already written a narrative history of the Ganong company) had published a pictorial book on the New Brunswick chocolate company as well. Greg was invited via his Bar Towel connections, and I immediately contacted my editor at Gremolata to see if he wanted me to cover the story. The answer was affirmative, and I immediately set to drinking gallons of orange juice and popping multi-vitamins; I have an awful habit of coming down with colds just before a big event and half of our building is sick with some sort of flu. Damned if I was going to miss a party all about chocolate.
Held at the Dominion Club, a refurbished bank building with high ceilings, leather club chairs and marble tables, the Chocs-O-Fun party was a laid back affair. There were lots of tasty finger foods, and an open bar (where I had a bit too much red wine), and of course, the huge display of Ganong chocolates that we were encouraged to help ourselves to.
I spent a bit of time talking to Ganong spokesperson Bryanna Ganong without realizing who she was. And briefly put my foot in my mouth when I admitted that Chicken Bones, the company’s signature Christmas candy, was not really one of my favourites. It actually was as a kid, but in recent years my folks send me huge boxes of the stuff at Christmas which Greg and I cannot possibly finish before it all begins to stick together in a huge pink lump. And then I complimented her on the wonderful nougat the company makes, only to be told that in the overhaul of the assorted boxes, the nougat had been deleted. Folks seem to prefer the nuts and caramels these days, it seems. Hopefully my praise of the Ganong Fruitfulls (fruit jelly candies made with real fruit) made me seem like less of an idiot. The Fruitfulls are one of the few jelly candies on the market that are vegetarian, using pectin instead of gelatin. As Greg and I both like these, we tend to buy them with some frequency.
Today, I’m recovering from what could possibly be “too much chocolate” syndrome. And trying to avoid feeding my habit by opening the boxes that we got to take home.