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For the first time and before a qualified and demanding audience –a good chunk of them hailing from nations where confectioning and patisserie top the list of staples- Cuba’s handcrafted fine chocolates were given a shot at their matching with the island nation’s distinguished cigars.

The competition panned out to be one of the most novel moments of the 13th Habano Festival and it was jam-packed with swarms of connoisseurs from both products that happened to find their deluxe combination of choice.

In search of the perfect match for the after-meal, participants in this tasting session combined sour and semi-sour chocolates, Turquino coffee truffle and 7-year Havana Club rum with some of Habanos’ flagship vitolas in combinations that were well acclaimed.

The experience –labeled as “exceptional and fabulous” by attendees- was for sommelier professor Fernando Fernandez –the man who emceed the tasting session- as a way to get into “a world so interesting as the after-meal in which there are countless products and items that put on a good show of their own in this concert of pleasures after a nice lunch or dinner.”

Maria CristinaJorge Cabrera, director of the Latin American School of Confectioning, Pastry and Patisserie, underscored that this “one-and-only exchange has shown it’s time now to bring all traditional products together because you always hear people talk about rum, coffee and habanos, and yet there’s this major player of Cuban traditions, like chocolate, with values of its own and recognition all around the world that’s still waiting for its well-deserved chance to bask in the limelight as well.”

Mrs. Cabrera, who’s also an expert with Cuba’s Institute for Food Industry Research, reiterated his satisfaction for the meeting’s outcomes.

“It’s been a tremendous experience to share the spotlight with the world of habanos. I’m so happy that we were able to launch our chocolate onto the world market in the framework of this event,” she commented.

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