Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chicago Trip: Long Grove Confectionery Factory Tour

We're in Itasca, IL, a suburb of Chicago, for the week while Matt does some work-related training. Today we toured the Long Grove Confectionery factory in Buffalo Grove, IL. We had the opportunity to hold a cacao pod and bean and learn about how it is grown and harvested. We saw videos of the family's history in the town and toured the factory to see the process from mixing and making the candies through packaging and shipping. This company does much of its work by hand, and it was especially interesting to learn about the custom work of the company artists and sculptors and see some of their amazing pieces. After smelling and seeing all that delicious chocolate for an hour, we shopped in the outlet store for treats and are now enjoying some blissful post-chocolate relaxing in our hotel room.
Some pictures:
Statue of Liberty and Native American chocolate sculptures. These are solid chocolate and weigh 1000+ pounds. The detail was just beautiful, and the swirling chocolate looked like wood grain.
The giant chocolate pizza and a chocolate dress that was actually worn in a fashion show (and yes, they said the dresses did start to melt a bit while being worn).

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