Side Dish 

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Chocolate Olfactory

Some of Richmond's most beloved food aromas — Wonder Bread filling downtown with a just-baked scent, cookies and vanilla smells wafting over Broad Street — are memories recently lost to changes in commerce.

But For the Love of Chocolate adds powerful new notes to local noses in its larger location. A walk inside the 3,300-square-foot shop is an explosion of fragrant truffles, bars and candies from around the world.

Owners James Kinard and Brian Grygiel sold chocolates for 13 years from their smaller location on Colonial Avenue. Now that they're in Cary Court Park & Shop at 3136 W. Cary St., there's room for more signature candies, including Kinard's current favorite, the Goji chocolate bar, made with goji berries from Tibet as well as Himalayan sea salt, priced at $7.

Other blends include lavender, hot peppers, teas and cumin, in an ever-expanding range of chocolate possibilities. Kinard sampled some tobacco-flavored chocolate recently and deemed it quite good and a potential winner in Richmond when it becomes available next year. Also hot is the kalamata olive and white chocolate bar from Vosges.

Nostalgic penny candies like Squirrel Nut Zippers and Mary Janes and some 80 hard candies round out the collection. 359-5645. — D.T.

Fun With Food

Virginia Food Festival Seafood, lamb, chicken and produce in a tour of Virginia flavors. The 25th annual event will be held Aug. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Raceway Complex. $25 includes food samples and live entertainment. 643-3555 or www.va-agribusiness.org.

Raw Foods Dinner Five-course feast of raw, vegan foods July 30 at 6 p.m. Chef Jannequin Bennett presents spicy avocado-lime soup; jicama salad, parsnip and carrot linguine with mushroom miso sauce; and ginger coconut mousse with fresh berries. $35. TJ's at The Jefferson Hotel, 101 W. Franklin St. Call 649-4672 for reservations. — D.T.

Vegging Out

If you're vegan or vegetarian, you've probably already added the Richmond Vegetarian Festival to your calendar. But if you're a hard-core carnivore, there's still reason to head over. Compassionate Action for Animals says the festival will be bigger and better this year, with more local music, vendors and activities.

You'll find Thai, African, Indian, Halal and Ethiopian foods, a farmers' market tendering fresh produce, and an offering of yoga and massages.

Juggler Jonathan Austin and musical groups the Gene Pendleton Trio, Jubeus, 59H20, the Jackie Frost Ensemble, the Atkinsons and Copper Sails will perform.

The festival is July 29, noon until 7 p.m. at the Azalea Gardens of Bryan Park. For more information, call 262-8507, visit www.veggiefest.org or e-mail info@veggiefest.org.

— Ginny Slaughter S

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