Jul 22, 2009

chocolate's not food, right?

Well, I promised to get off the food channel, but that was before I decided to take the two grandkids I babysit on a field trip today. I was looking for something relatively close and inexpensive. I settled on this:

I confess openly to being a serious chocoholic, or perhaps I should say, "chocolate snob". My excuse goes something like this: If I'm going to consume the fat & calories, it's going to be the good stuff, not candy bars filled with paraffin!

For $5 for all three of us, we got an informative video, plus a 45 minute tour of the factory. I never dreamed I would ever see and smell five 80,000 gallon vats of warm chocolate anywhere except, uh, in my dreams!

Even 8 month old squirming Ethan, usually quite the high maintenance little guy, seemed to be calmed by the sights and smells. I had to carry him the entire time, as for some reason the factory doesn't accommodate strollers! (Imagine that?) Elylah was a little intimidated at first, but she realized this was just like things she'd seen on TV where they show you how things are made and she was excited. It didn't hurt that we started the tour by receiving one of these:

Harry London Buckeyes

Harry London was a local steel worker, who learned chocolate making from his father, who brought the skills from the old country. The following is from the Harry London website:

"At the turn of the century, fine confections were associated with the delicate hand-craftsmanship of the Swiss, or the rich, smooth cream and butter used by the Belgians. In Canton, Ohio, unknown to the existing masters of chocolate, Gilbert London was teaching his son Harry the fine art of confections by using recipes and techniques from the family’s strong European traditions.

Harry London learned over time and through the eloquent teachings of his father the true art of making fine confections. He found that in a world where more always seemed to be the norm in creating anything of wonder, the art of chocolate-making broke all traditional rules. He learned that quality was more important than quantity. Chocolate needs to be simple and pure, rich and complex, and filled with blends that are subtle...yet irresistible.

Over the years, Harry London began making these delicious delicacies for his friends as holiday gifts. Friends were finding that resistance to these delights was futile. The gifts were cherished, and soon Harry was receiving requests for his fine hand-made chocolates. In 1922, Harry - a steelworker by trade - soon decided to make chocolate his life’s work and left his job at the mill. Thus, Harry London Candies was born.

Through humble beginnings, where ideas are strong and passion runs through every thought one has, Harry London created a small kitchen in his home. This would be just the beginning of where the finest chocolates in the world would be created. Through the years, his family traditions and recipes are still held to exceptional standards, for only the purest ingredients are used."

What a fun day! Of course they conveniently have the store right there where we did pick up some plunder to take home. Elylah was excited we were able to buy some chocolate covered pretzels, since that was one of the items we watched being made.

So the next time you come through North Canton, Ohio, be sure to stop by this place...you can be in and out within an hour or so. It's located right on I-77 near the Akron-Canton Airport.


Wanda said...

Hi Jacquelyn...I've been there...we had gone to sea World and took the long way back home to see the sights...Like you I loved it...I can't stand to eat candy bars either...our grandchildren have no idea how good they "use to be."

Deb said...

What a wonderful experience!
I have a candle that's named "Chocolateness" (got it from . It smells like fresh milk-chocolate. And like you said, it's a soothing fragrance that seems to comfort everyone who smells it. (I think my hubby knows I've had a rough day when he smells the chocolate candle burning.)
As I read about your field-trip I couldn't help but be reminded of Ethel and Lucy's short employment in a chocolate candy factory! hee hee
I can't wait till my grandchildren are old enough to take on field trips. We used to take our son on all sorts of them - what fun!

Deb said...

Poosh - I hit 'enter' before I typed where I got that candle from.
I got it from A.I. Root.