“Cacao! Cacao!” A Visit to Theo Chocolate Factory

Did somebody say “chocolate”? My pulse immediately started racing…pangs of desire formulated in my mouth…”must…..get…some…now.”

So it was a natural progression of mine when I heard that the first fair-trade and organic chocolate factory was just right around the corner from where we were staying in Seattle. We followed our noses to this historic brick building that housed Theo Chocolate. Rich cocoa smells lead our way to the entrance. We were met by fun and overly-exuberant Theo-ites ready to take us on a a tour of their oompa-loompa factory. We spent a good amount of time just learning about HOW chocolate was made. (I think that I took for granted the process of how this food of the gods made it to my own mouth… I never gave much forethought to the craft behind it, maybe because I was just too busy having a food-gasm)

Handi-dandi infographic via Ile de Chocolat on HOW chocolate is actually made. It’s amazing, the process and flavor is a lot like coffee beans and wine. There is some roasting and fermentation involved.

Hand mixing flavors into the chocolate. (I think that orange was going into this one)

Top Learnings

• Look for percentage of cocoa on the labels. chocolate candy can be called chocolate with as little as 10% of cocoa…the rest is well…NOT chocolate.

• Fair-trade and organic does matter. Fair trade chocolate only accounts for less than 1% of the chocolate market…imagine how the rest of it is sourced.

• Montezuma, the Aztec king that founded drinking chocolate apparently drank 40-50 cups a day!

• Apparently, the higher the cocoa content, the more chocolate becomes a health food. So eat DARK!

So there you have it, a bit of the mystery de-mystified. I have always been enamored by candy as a child and chocolate has been part of my daily diet. (that’s how I keep my girlish figure…shhh.)  I leave you with one of my favorite all time songs from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

What’s YOUR favorite flavor or type of chocolate?? Do you like it dark? milk? With nuts?

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