Recap: Chile Fiesta at BBG

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of those magical places where anyone can have a great time. Toddlers, hipsters, grandparents, teenagers, tired parents pushing a double stroller (moi). It also has one of the best membership packages around. For $50 (or $85 for a family) you get access year-round, including special event dates like the Chile Fiesta or the Cherry Blossom festival (the entrance fee on those days is $15 instead of $10). A nice bonus: guest and parking passes. Most of the membership cost is tax deductible. And best of all? It keeps the BBG going.

I truly love the BBG. And no, I’m not their PR person.

The Chile Fiesta brings together local vendors that specialize in spicy goods, with a big presence of chocolate shops who kick it up a few notches for the occasion. Unfortunately, my taste buds are on the whimpy side when it comes to heat, so while I really liked the idea of most of the hot goods for sale, I couldn’t bring myself to try them. Case in point, Mrs. Kim’s Kimchi.

Chile Fiesta - Mrs. Kim Kimchi

I want to be brave. I want to like it. Maybe next time I’m at Smorgasburg, where they can be found every week.

See, this is more my kind of thing.

Chile Fiesta - Whimsy & Spice

Whimsy & Spice had people lined up to try their fudgesicles, which are exactly that – frozen fudgey treats on a stick. A hint of curry gave mine a more grown-up flavor. Their pumpkin sandwich cookies are beyond delicious. Their treats can be purchased through their website, at the Brooklyn Flea, and at many gourmet stores.

Chile Fiesta - Fine and Raw

The chocolate department was definitely well represented. The Chocolate Room, Nunu Chocolates, Raaka Chocolate – some of Brooklyn’s chocolate champions. Fine & Raw (above) grabbed our attention with their soft and chunky delights. Their cacao & coconut bar is a winner.

Have you heard about that shop in Brooklyn that  sells only mayonnaise? It’s no urban legend, it’s Empire Mayonnaise.

Chile Fiesta - Empire Mayonnaise

They had two spicy varieties for sale –spicy chili and yuzu chili– along with a few of their classic flavors, such as rosemary, white cheddar or lime pickle. Their goods can be found at their shop (564 Vanderbilt Ave. in Prospect Heights), at their online store, and in shops all over Brooklyn and around the country.

This year’s Chile Fiesta was bigger than last year. Hopefully next year it will be even bigger! And I will be sure to work on my tolerance for spicy goods.

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