Saturday day night I was in chocolate heaven for a few hours. Along with three good friends and former teaching colleagues, I attended a chocolate dinner at the McNally Robinson Community Classroom. Hosted by Doreen Pendgracs the author of the book Chocolatour A Quest For The World’s Best Chocolate we not only enjoyed a delicious meal where every course featured something chocolate, but we also learned so much about chocolate from Doreen and her special guest Constance Popp who is a chocolatier with her own shop here in Winnipeg on Provencher Avenue. 

The menu included………


A strawberry, almond spinach salad with a dressing made from quince and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar


Bittersweet chocolate beef ribs for the main course


and caramel chocolate pepper mousse cake for dessert. 

A lovely surprise was having a former student of ours as our server. 

Doreen is a chocolate expert and in between each course, she shared lots of interesting facts and stories. I learned so much about chocolate including……


The best cocoa beans are grown twenty degrees south and north of the Equator.

There are chocolate museums and festivals all over the world. 

Before you eat a raw cocoa bean you peel off the papery outer shell. 


Men claim they like chocolate. Women claim they need it. 

70-80% of cocoa beans are grown in Africa.

Professional chocolatiers are at work in virtually every country of the world including Iceland.

A large pod from a cocoa tree can have as many as 50 cocoa beans. 

Chocolate is healthy. It contains the most antioxidants of any food in the world. A square of dark chocolate every day is very good for you. 

Chocolate is an art medium. Artists make chocolate sculptures. Doreen showed us a photo of hand-painted chocolates. 

passion fruit chocolate 

Chocolate can be combined with so many things. Apparently, it adds a unique flavour to chili.

Chocolate is great paired with wine and also with coffee and tea. There are guides that can suggest the perfect pairings. 

Half Pints Brewery Company makes a beer with a chocolate aroma and Guinness has a recipe on its website for Guinness Chocolate Truffles. 

Different kinds of chocolate are best suited to people with different personalities. That was the secret of the chocolatier in the movie Chocolat. She made personalized chocolates.

Constance Popp suggested chocolate could be the perfect breakfast food.

Chocogasm is a word in the Urban Dictionary. Its definition is……..“eating high-quality chocolate and experiencing bliss like states of choc-erotic pleasure”

There is another chocolate dinner coming up at McNally Robinson’s Community Classroom on September 20th. I’d highly recommend it. 

Other posts about McNally’s Community Classroom…..

Becoming a Better Blogger

Western Canadian Female Artists

Winnipeg Fact and Fiction


Filed under Books, Education, Food, Health, Restaurants, T-4s

5 responses to “Chocogasm

  1. Thanks so much for the post, Mary Lou! It was great having you and your gal pals in attendance at the dinner. I loved the enthusiasm coming from your end of the table! I also loved your friend’s suggestion of doing a guided chocolate tasting in a future event and am currently speaking with McNally Robinson about arranging one in the Community Classroom. Also looking forward to the next dinner on Sept 20th, as Chef Karen Nielsen always comes up with terrific chocolate-inspired recipes.


  2. Wow- small world…I went to school with the blonde on the left in the blue sweater!!!I have only seen her once in the past thirty/forty years…and it was outside McNally Robinson… Tell her that Marsha says hello…
    And thanks for letting me know about the chocolate-inspired dinners


  3. Pingback: Missing Hugs, Opening Up and Hoping McNally’s Survives | What Next?

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