I think all of us have dreamt of the life Charlie lead; no, not the part where he was poor and lived in a shack with 5 relatives, but the part where he was whisked away into a land filled with chocolate.
This week, childhood dreams came true when I went behind the brick walls and into the factory of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut.
18 months ago this Canadian and Calgary treasure switched hands and the country gasped, “What would these monsters do to our beloved chocolates?”
They’ve made it better!
Not only have they kept the brand true to its roots, they have perked it up with new delicious creations, improved the quality of the chocolate and even managed to lower some of the prices by up to 30%!
So I decided to head over to the factory and pay the ‘family’ a visit.
And that’s exactly who they are… a team of people who have made great chocolate all their lives; husbands, wives and their children, some of who have been with the factory for 25+ years. They welcomed me into their world with open arms!
The smell of love and deliciousness was in the air!
My first stop, the ‘Enrobing Line’
I have had dreams of laying on one of these, taking the ride and being covered in a shell of sweetness. As I began to climb onto the belt I was told it would only support the weight of pretzels
I was surprised to see the majority of the work was done by caring hands and not machines. Each pretzel is gently placed on the belt and after receiving its milk chocolate coat, it is hand drizzled with white chocolate.
After a few seconds in the cooler, the sweet & salty delights were ready for bagging.
Also packed by hand, it was my time to shine!
1 for me and 1 for the bag was the system I used, and after 12 minutes I was lying on the floor with a half full bag and a ‘sugar goodness’ tummy ache!
Obviously these women were pros!
I thought it best to move on to my final challenge, chocolate molds and armed with my new BFF Tran, I was taught to make the perfect stallion!
I placed my stud on the cooling rack and hugged Tran goodbye.
As I head over to my glass Wonka-vator, I thanked my lucky stars that I was able to live my childhood dream. And although there was no ‘lickable’ wall paper, I did see something new and ingenious on my way out!
But you’ll have to read next week to find out what it was, and lets just say, it’s a world exclusive on a new product and a lucky reader is going to be the first to have it!
Mr. Fab berlasting gobstopper