Chocolate festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

  • Kirk Brown of Miami shares a laugh with Amy Reaves of Pinecrest as Reaves enjoys a chocolate-dipped frozen banana at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • United States Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialist K-9 handlers Allison Spicher-Hernandez, left, and Ashleigh Vaught, right, demonstrate how adept their beagle partners -- Penlee, left, and Vicki, right -- are at sniffing out agricultural items not permitted into the Unied States, during a demonstration at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Dense, coconut-flavored dark chocolates sold by Cacao Art of Miami are among the mouth-watering goodies at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, pays homage to chocolate with cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Several types of cacao pods from the Living Collection at the Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Puerto Rico are displayed at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Irving Stern of Aventura savors a sample of hot cocoa prepared as it was in George Washington's time (by American Heritage Historical Chocolate, a historical division of Mars, in Elizabethtown, Penn.) during the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Lisa Schroeder, a trained ambassador of American Heritage Historical Chocolate (a historical division of Mars, in Elizabethtown, Penn.), demonstrates how cacao beans are winnowed, on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event, from Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Natalie Martell, 13, of Miami, takes a bite of chocolate-covered strawberries on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. Her mom, Tamara Martell, at right, prepares to buy goodies, too. "Soft, chocolaty, delicious," Natalie said. "Mouthwatering," her mom added. The chocolate fountain at right belongs to Donut Divas & Fun Foods of Miami, one of dozens of vendors at the festival at Fairchild, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. The event runs through Sunday and includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Home-baked chocolate-banana cupcakes ($1 each) are displayed for sale by George Mira's Native Conch on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The event runs through Sunday at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Charles McDonald of Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Coral Gables drizzles chocolate on his dark chocolate caramel corn during a food demonstration in Earth Learning Mobile Kitchen Demonstrations Tent at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. The demonstration -- with samples for the audience afterward -- was Friday, Jan 24, 201e at the festival at Fairchild, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. The event runs through Sunday and includes cooking demonstrations, chocolate-inspired poetry readings, lectures, children's activities, and chocolates to sample and buy. MARSHA HALPER / MIAMI HERALD STAFF