Hershey Pennsylvania is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Lancaster, so of course we had to visit to see if the town really did smell like chocolate! It didn't, at least not the day we were there, but that in no way diminished the 'air' of chocolate that permeated the town.
Walking into the Hershey Chocolate experience was a diabetic's worst dream. Fortunately, none of us are diabetic!
Our first activity was to attend a chocolate tasting. Sitting in a large room with lots of other guests, placemats, bottles of water, and six different types of chocolate were put in front of us. We listened to a short story about the origins of chocolate, and then were instructed on how the tasting would go.
We were not to bite and chew our chocolate, but rather just let it dissolve on our tongues. But before the chocolate even entered our mouths, were were instructed to snap a piece of the chocolate up close to our ears and listen for the sound. Who knew that different types of chocolate had different sounds - some snap, some have a dull thud when broken, and some have almost no sound at all. Here is a picture of Ashley listening as I break a piece near my ear.
Ashley wouldn't taste the chocolate so that just meant more for me!
I discovered that my favorite was the fruity, nuttiness of dark chocolate, but the boys both preferred the milk chocolate.
After the tasting, it was on to making our own candy bars and designing the packaging for them.
Here are the vats of chocolate used for making the bars:
After donning aprons and hair nets, we chose the type of chocolate we wanted and as many fillings as we wanted. White chocolate was our choice, and the fillings ranged from pretzel bits, rasperry bits, nuts, and chocolate chips. After the bar was constructed, it was then drenched in milk chocolate and sent to the packaging area.
The packaging could be personalized in whatever way one preferred, and finally the completed bar was tucked into a metal tin for enjoying later.
Of course, there was a store that stocked and sold every single type of chocolate Hershey makes as well as the regular touristy stuff like tee-shirts and hats. Though the facility was packed with people, and the restrooms were far from accessible, the visit to Hershey was one of our favorite things during the vacation!
Tomorrow - the hills, flowers, and butterflies of Hershey