Does Willie Wonka Still Run the Chocolate Factory?

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Does Willie Wonka Still Run the Chocolate Factory?

Most of us, when thinking of a chocolate factory imagine a magical place owned by a man named, Willie Wonka, and operated by hard-working and randomly musical Oompa Loompas.  Whether your favorite Willie Wonka is portrayed by Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp, Willie Wonka represents an iconic memory for most of us.  The river of chocolate and machines that create a full meal in a stick of gum are products of the fertile mind of Ronald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Statistics say it all; it is estimated that per capita chocolate consumption is 11.64 pounds per year in the United States alone, and they are only the 11th largest chocolate consuming country. The largest chocolate consumers–the Swiss by almost double the annual U.S. consumption.  To keep up with huge demand, modern chocolate factories utilize a specialized system to deliver a variety of chocolate to consumers.

Thank You Industrial Revolution

Not much has changed in the process of chocolate making in today’s chocolate factory.  In 1819,   the pioneer of Swiss chocolate-making, François Louis Callier, opened the first Swiss chocolate factory.  It still begins with the cocoa beans which are carefully sorted through to discard imperfections. This is normally a process done by hand – one of few hand-done processes still done in the chocolate factory – and one that culminates in the separation of each particular seed into type and country from which it originated. From there, the seeds are thoroughly cleaned and weighed.

Next, the cocoa beans are roasted in the chocolate factory until all the moisture is completely removed and the seeds are a rich, dark brown. Once roasted, the seeds pass through a machine where the shells are opened to get to the bean bits – or nibs – inside. The nibs are then sorted by size in a chocolate factory process known as winnowing. The nibs contain the flavor of the chocolate and they are crushed into heavy chocolate liquor to sugar and cocoa butter are added to get the chocolate we know and love.

From this point, a series of unique processes take place within the chocolate factory according to each manufacturers proprietary recipes.  Regardless of what chocolate you crave, the access to whatever you desire is readily available thanks to the modern chocolate factory.

photos courtesy of huffingtonpost.com, fxpal.com

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4 Responses to “Does Willie Wonka Still Run the Chocolate Factory?”

  1. July 28, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Chocolate is a key ingredient in many foods. In fact, it ranks as the favorite flavor of most Americans.

    • Chocolate Guru
      July 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

      There is a reason it is called the ‘food of the Gods’! Thanks for your comment.

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    August 25, 2011 at 10:49 am #

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    • Chocolate Guru
      August 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

      Thanks for the comment.

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