I remember the close up in the French film, “CHOCOLAT”, of a bowl full of chocolate being mixed by hand. I still recall my desire to push my finger through the screen and get a lick from the bowl. (Marty said, “That’s you alright.”) MV5BMjA4MDI3NTQwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjIzNDcyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_

My husband and I are chocoholics. Our tastes include chocolate ice cream and cake, but not to the same extent as our love for chocolate candy, and we rarely pass up a chance to watch the manufacture of chocolate.

When our children were young, we visited the Hershey plant and museum, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The exhibit ended with preparations of mouth- watering pies, using fresh butter and eggs. We had our camper, then, and didn’t hesitate to pick up a pie for dinner.

In Melbourne, Australia, we joined a group on a Chocolate Tour. Can you imagine touring the city on foot, and sampling all kinds of chocolate and other confections along the way? The tour included an ice cream cone. We finished at a lovely restaurant with a great chocolate cake and a beverage.  Although we were exhausted after the walk, we didn’t experience any discomfort from our “lunch.”

It was cold and damp on the day that we witnessed a demonstration of processing chocolate in Bruges, Belgium. What could be better than hot chocolate, to chase away the chills? We were served a soup bowl- sized cup of hot milk and a bar of chocolate, which we added as much as we liked to the milk, to achieve the desired strength of hot chocolate. Marty and I used all of the chocolate for a nice rich beverage, but we had the option of saving all or some of the chocolate to nibble later.

We narrowly escaped getting a speeding ticket on our way to Lubec, Maine, not far from Campobello Island. It was unchartered territory and we were anxious to reach Lubec before dark. Monica, the proprietor of Monica’s Chocolates,  creates wonderful European -style bonbons: two inch round delicacies of chocolate, filled with caramel and nuts or fruits, and wrapped in brightly colored foil and contrasting ribbon. Definitely worth a trip to Lubec, but don’t speed to get there! bonbons-grouping

We’ve been anxious to visit the renowned Cowboy Chocolatier in Meeteetse, Wyoming, but the owner, Tim Kellogg  travels in January and we’ve always missed him. This year we left later than usual, and spend most of February in Thermopolis, enjoying the outdoor hot springs. So we were able to visit.

Meeteetse is a quaint western town, on route 20, about halfway between Thermopolis and Cody with a population of around 300. The sidewalks are wood. The town has a beautiful high school, a few nice restaurants, a post office, a fine museum of the locality, and the Cowboy Chocolatier. Tim doesn’t put on cowboy boots for effect; he does make a living by roping steers. But he is also recognized for his candy making. He competes internationally, and has received awards for his quality chocolate.

We were not allowed to take pictures of the candy production. We were informed that the sweets only have a shelf life for about five or six days and were advised to keep the chocolate away from heat, strong light, and not refrigerate or freeze. The candy is organic and gluten free. Naturally we’ve kept the candy for more than six days and it was very fine and smooth. We sampled chocolate made with cocoa beans from Venezuela, Honduras, and Morocco. The truffles were without nuts but were flavored with spices and liquors.

On the way back from Meeteetse, I  felt like having some chocolate cream pie, which was not on the menu where we stopped. But the apple pie hit the spot.



  1. Great post, mom! I guess I got that chocolate loving gene from you both because I love chocolate candy. Ice cream and cake not so much, but a hot chocolate souffle is divine. Of course we discovered Monica years ago and try to be loyal customers. Her story is amazing. Thanks for sharing another facet of your travels with dad — chocolate tours!

  2. Thank you Lisa. Could i ever go for a cup of hot chocolate,now. Thought of a picture of Monica’s Bon-bons in the beautiful wrappings. Glad that you got a picture from “Chocolate”. Guess my pictures didn’t show up well. Thought of one small change. Not important. Thanks again. Next time we go o Wyoming I’ll have to bring back some truffles. want to start CHOCOLATE TOUR BUSINESS?

  3. Mom, This is fabulous! Well written, fabulous imagery and completely mouth watering. No secret that I’m a major chocoholic; as a baker I’m a big fan of very rich chocolate cakes but I will not pass up any other form either EXCEPT perhaps that produced by Spagnvola here in Gaithersburg, MD. David and I ventured there last weekend for their factory tour and it was hugely disappointing. The tour was a rushed 7 minutes the only sample we got was the tip of a popsicle stick dipped in an enticing swirling vat of 70% melted dark. I had visions of joining Agustus Gloop on a swim up the chocolate river when looking in that vat and was thoroughly deflated with our meager taste. Once in the chocolate shop, tastes were out of the question (WHAT?) but we were more than welcome to purchase .75 ounce truffles or bon bons for about $3.25 a pop – at that price and with flavors like olive oil lavendar ot thyme cayenne – NO thanks!! The Hershey’s tour was infinitely more fulFILLING!

      • The heroine in “CHOCOLAT’ flavored her candy with Chili. I’ve tried it in hot chocolate. Not at all bad, Madeline, remind me not to go ont Spagnvola tour. You;d love the Chocolate tour in Melbourne. Make your next trip, Australia. Thanks for you comment. Also, sea salt caramel is great. Gives it a tang and not heartburn sweet.

    • Barbara, I never thought of you as strictly Vanilla. Marty is strictly Vanilla about ice cream.I like fruit and nuts, but we both love “Chocolates” Thanks fpr your comment.

  4. I remember visiting the Hershey factory when I was a kid. My husband’s family got the chocolate gene. There is a gourmet chocolate company here in Seattle–Theo’s Chocolate–that specializes in unusual blends–ginger chocolate, chili chocolate, etc. FYI, they give tours and free samples!

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