Saturday, April 20, 2024

All kinds of chocolate will be glorified, taught about and even dispenses as samples Jan. 27-29 at Harvard Square’s second Chocolate Festival, including the hot chocolate at Crema Café and signature treats at L.A. Burdick. (Photos: top, Kai Schreiber; bottom, Sushiesque)

How dark can you take your chocolate? Because Harvard Square’s Chocolate Festival, running Jan. 27-29, adds a wrinkle from last year’s inaugural event: two upscale “Dining in the Dark” events in which people savor chocolate dishes blindfolded, heightening their sense of taste and smell.

One at Nubar, in the Sheraton Commander hotel, 16 Garden St., at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 ($65 each for 35 participants), and a repeat at UpStairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop St., at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28. To keep the senses even more alert, owners Mary Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes are keeping the menu secret. ($60 per participant)

On that Saturday there’s also:

A chocolate treasure hunt in the square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting with buying a $1 map in Deguglielmo Plaza in front of Crema Café at 27 Brattle St.). Proceeds go to support the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and the hunt can be completed in as little as 45 minutes.

A chocolate sampling event from 1 to 2 p.m. in Deguglielmo Plaza with a samples from restaurants and shops from across Harvard Square.

The Art of Chocolate Tasting at 3 p.m. at the Russell House Tavern, 14 JFK St. A master chocolatier explores the history of chocolate and the cacao bean, including its history among royals. ($25 each for 30 participants)

An Evening of Wine and Chocolate at 6 p.m. at Finale, 30 Dunster St., which takes a systematic approach to tasting wine and pairing it with chocolate and includes a discussion of how chocolate and wine are made. Organizers promise plenty of tasting. ($48 each for 25 participants)

A “Death by Chocolate” interactive murder mystery event at 7 p.m. at Fire + Ice, 50 Church St., featuring a gourmet three-course dinner. Here’s the idea, which is also a bit far to the sugary side, as described by the plotters: “Count Chocula welcomes you to ChocoCon 2011! Lady Godiva and Billy Wonka have come together to announce their newest creations. Their innovations are the Golden Ticket to chocolate success! Help Wonka sort through the clues and interrogate the suspects. Find out who was willing to go so far as to cause a … DEATH BY CHOCOLATE!” ($49.95 each for 150 participants)

There are also 2½-hour chocolate tours starting at 11 a.m. Jan. 28-29 teaching the history of chocolate, how luxury chocolates are made and bringing participants to a several sites for samples and tips on tasting, buying and storing fine chocolate: Cardullo’s, the gourmet shop with a wide variety of chocolates, Lakota Bakery cookies and other treats; chocolate shop L.A. Burdick, known for its hot chocolate and homemade truffles; coffeehouse and bakery Crema Café; Sweet Cupcake; J.P. Licks, the ice cream and hot chocolate shop; Finale, the dessert restaurant; and even, get this, Lush, the maker of vegetarian (and, the company says, more than 70 percent vegan) products for bath, hair and body, because it uses cocoa in some. ($48 each for 14 participants in each tour, with lower prices for kids)

This post took significant material from a press release.