Friday, August 3, 2012

Harry London / Fanny May Chocolate Factory Field Trip 7-23-12

Fannie May / Harry London Chocolate Factory
Last week we went on a great field trip and you should be very jealous.  We went to the Fannie May / Harry London Chocolate Factory with a small group of homeschooling friends.  No photos allowed inside the factory, though, so I'll just have to describe it.  The tour began with a short film about the history of the company, which included lots of gratuitous shots of various fillings traveling through curtains of liquid chocolate pouring over them.  My stomach began growling at this point.  Two interesting things we learned were that they are now owned by the 1-800-FLOWERS company and also that they make the chocolates for all of the Disney Resorts.  After the film, we went down a hallway lined with windows looking into various work areas.  First a room with five huge holding tanks full of chocolate (90,000 gallons each if I remember correctly?) and next we looked into the artisan kitchen, where they create their line of artisan chocolates.  There were fancy chef-type people, and interesting things like airbrushing and chocolate molds and machines with spigots of constantly flowing chocolate happening there.  After that was the strawberry dipping room, although no one was working there at the time.  Here, we also learned where chocolate comes from, as there was a mural of a cacao tree on the wall and a display case with a cacao pod and cacao seeds in it.  Next we went up a flight of stairs to a window-enclosed hallway that stretched across the length of the whole factory.  As we walked along, our tour guide explained what was being made in each area and what the workers were doing.  From time to time, some of the friendlier workers would stop and smile and wave at us.  I thought - if I worked there, I would definitely be one of the wavers!  We could see conveyor belts full of delicious looking things traveling along and being coated in chocolate.  We learned that they are first coated on the bottom by riding on a conveyor belt that's like an open grate, with chocolate oozing up from below, and then they travel through a "car wash" style curtain of liquid chocolate to cover the tops and sides.  Then they continue along through a cooling/hardening process, and finally they get put into their packaging.  About halfway through this part of the tour, Monkey's attention was pretty much just focused on how badly he wanted to eat some chocolate and not so much on the tour.  Once he looked down into that first giant vat of chocolate being mechanically stirred, it was pretty much all over for him.  (He was, however, a big fan of the seats lining the hallway that looked like giant Reese's cups.)  He survived until the end of the tour, though, and was very happy to finally reach the free samples part!  We didn't get as much as I'd hoped though - one piece of chocolate each and one small spoonful of ice cream, which they had just begun selling that very day.  Then we perused the overwhelming selection of delicious things and chose some to buy and take home with us.

A view of the inside of the store.

A kid in a candy store... literally!

Happily showing off his box of chocolates afterward.
A fun and educational trip... oh, and I can't believe I forgot to mention the amazing SMELL of the place!  OMG it was heavenly!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow....yep I am totally jealous. Now you have me craving some chocolate LOL.


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