Going into the kitchen of an artisanal chocolate maker feels a lot like getting the golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s factory. You walk in, and it’s like you’ve entered an alternate, more whimsical universe. First, you’re hit with the sweet, floral smell of chocolate, wafting at you from every direction. Then, there are the delightful sight — straight out of a child’s storybook. On one side of the room, trays of pretty, heart-shaped chocolates cool on the counter. On the other, creamy, luxurious chocolate is pouring thickly and continuously into a mixer. It’s especially hard to take your eyes off that fountain of chocolate-y goodness. It’s just begging for you to place your mouth under it like Augustus Gloop. It’s chocolate you wouldn’t mind drowning in.
When I went on a tour, I considered doing just that for a moment, mowing down everyone around me to beeline straight for that hot stream of pure chocolate. I figured I could get my head and hands in for a good 30 seconds before the shocked staff was able to pull me out. Luckily for… well…. all of us, I think, they were prepared for the uncontrollable chocolate lust that must overtake every visitor to their kitchen. A plate of dark, delicate looking chocolates was passed around within seconds of entering.
And as I popped the freshly made chocolate into my mouth, hazelnut flavors giving way to a sweet, cream filled center, I closed my eyes and audibly sighed. I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.