Saturday, 25 August 2012

York's Chocolate Story

I went to York earlier this week for a short family trip. I've been to York before with friends and remember wandering through the quaint little shops along the Shambles and having drinks in the bars along the river. I expected a different kind of trip with the family, but never thought it would turn into quite the foodie experience!

I never knew York was home to many of the leading brands of sweets and chocolate's that we have today. The roots of many well-known brands were founded here by three families: Terry's, Rowntree's and Craven's; producing the goods of KitKat's, Terry's chocolate orange's and the humble humbugs (or 'umbugs, depending which part of the country you are from!).

Admittance for one at York's Chocolate Story

We went to York's Chocolate Story which gave a good overview on the history on York's chocolate routes. We also were taught to 'taste' chocolate properly, which involves smelling, hearing, and of course, tasting the actual chocolate. It was quite suprising that putting chocolate in your mouth for a few moments, while holding your nose (preventing you from smelling it) actually stops you from getting the full chocolate taste. After letting go of my nose, I was hit with a real boost of chocolatey flavour. Didn't expect that!

There are many chocolate shops in York. I particularly liked York's Cocoa House. It's a cute little chocolate shop and cafe, offering chocolate workshops from making lollipops, making your own chocolate bar, to more educational ones like the journey of how chocolate comes from the cocoa bean to your mug of warm, fuzzy goodness. They also house a family of cacao plants. Meet Henry...

Henry, the cacao tree

One of my highlight's was going to the Fudge Kitchen. Unexpectedly, we watched the guys making fudge. This was chocolate orange fudge. It was fun to watch and I ended up buying far too much fudge than I could actually handle. But it is very nice and I would recommend it :)

Making fudge at the Fudge Kitchen!

It has to be said, however, people who work amongst large quantities of sugar everyday, are beyond loopy. Just saying...