Finding my sense of taste: Chocolate festival & Ladies' dinner

Ladies' dinner 

Last Friday, I and three of my classmates were in for a treat - we went to an annual ladies' dinner which offered both good fun and entertainment. It was held within the legendary walls of Nylands Nation, Finland's oldest student nation, established in 1643 in Turku and later on moved to Helsinki.

The lady dinner is like I mentioned an annual event organised to remember and honor the ladies. Since the dinner is annual, it also has some famous characteristics; the ladies are always dressed in cocktail length dresses and the dinner always has a theme. Earlier it has been e.g. an underwater world. This year the theme was a fire department, quite suiting for an audience of ladies. Our waitors were dressed according to the theme and the free drinks we were offered carried the names "flaming fire man" and "hose it". Even though I enjoyed my table company and the food&drinks, I would have wished that the dinner would have had a seating order. Now, as you can guess, the ladies divided themselves into groups and it was therefore difficult to get to know new people. All and all I was happy to have had experienced my first ladies' dinner, even though I think I might have had a few too many "hose its".

Chocolate festival

On Sunday, I attended the second chocolate festival ever organized in Helsinki. I came to see though that even if we're talking about a relatively new tradition, it has found its audience. The event was full by noon. I didn't have high expectations for the festival since Finland is mostly known only for the Fazer chocolate, but I came to see that we have much more. I must say that my clear favorite was the new acquaintance - Reuter & Stolt's wine chocolate! Delicious! I also liked the Nescafé combination with After Eight chocolate chips, yum! Some other goodies were orange, honey and mint chocolates..incredible!

Even though I had prepared myself for chocolate eating, I must say that after eating it for more than two hours, you definitely felt a chocolate haze. Me and two of my friends decided, therefore, to add some to the haze and attend a tasting- wine & chocolate. Enjoying chocolate with wine to bring out new features in wine has become quite a trend in Finland. Wine knowledge is considered chic. We had a great lecturer telling us about what we were about to experience. We combined four types of wine (one white, two red and one port) with four types of chocolates (white, milk, and two dark).

According to the lecturer we take advantage of all our senses while tasting. Actually, we start by seeing, then smelling, followed by feeling and last actually tasting. I had never before combined eating chocolates with wine drinking. I must say that the experience was thrilling since the wine really tasted different depending on what chocolate type it was combined to. It seems that the chocolate's rich and greasy character diminish e.g. the strong tannins or fruity taste of the wine. I recommend you all to organize a wine+chocolate evening to get in touch again with your sense of taste, so often forgotten!

What's your opinion?