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What is it about good chocolate that captivates us so? Why do we find ourselves thinking about it more than, well, anything?

We may never know the answers to those age-old questions, but we do know that if there was ever a time to indulge our cravings, it?s this weekend at Navy Pier.

The first-ever Chicago Fine Chocolate Show kicks off today at noon and runs through Sunday (tickets are $25 to $35 and include tastings). Geared to both the food industry and the sweets-loving public, the three days of intense dessert immersion include pastry demonstrations, a gallery of chocolate sculptures and a pairings pavilion where attendees can taste the nuances of chocolate with wine, beer, coffee, tea and more.

As a location for such a show, Chicago is a natural fit: Home to companies like Fannie May, Blommer Chocolate Company and World?s Finest Chocolate--not to mention local niche brands like Vosges, Wild Ophelia and Terry's Toffee--the city is an epicenter of the confection industry.

Plus, since nobody ever complains about getting fabulous chocolate as a holiday present, we plan to bring our usual baking motto along as we shop: One for them, one for us.

Chicago Fine Chocolate Show, Navy Pier Festival Hall B, 600 E. Grand Ave.; chicagochocolatefestival.com

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