30 July 2010

Falling off the Bus...Getting hit by said bus, and waiting for any other motor vehicle to run me over. Yes, it is that bad. But worth it.

Step 1: Visit a local, family-run awesome chocolate company that doesn't do tours.  BUT--L's parent's won the Make-A-Wish auction for an exclusive tour opportunity, and brought R, D, L, and me along with them.  
Step 2:  Meet Julian Rose, the Master Chocolatier.  Who allows you into his test kitchen, and gives you an amazing, personal, informative, and unique tour. 

Step 3: Get to sample test chocolates in development. Pure chocolate (all from one part of the world) with amazing insides--like orange pieces and Grand Marnier. 
 Step 4: See the artisans at their work stations, doing EVERYTHING BY HAND.

Step 5: See more work done by hand.  Yes, she is painting on individual whiskers and eyes on chocolate cats.  BY. HAND. Feel an even bigger appreciation for the finished product. 
Step 6: See the results of the work. Trays upon trays upon trays.  Keeping in mind all those trays were done BY. HAND.
Step 7: See more work being done by hand.  Appreciate even more the amazingness of this experience. 

Step 8: See the "reject" pile.  Eat a sample--the best damn caramel ever.  Moan. 

Step 9: Learn about the process of chocolate making from Master Chocolatier Rose.  Whose birthday is on Monday.  Who has been working with chocolate for 20 years.  Who is an amazing teacher, and awesome to listen to. 

Step 10: Sample tray.  As we learned, we sampled.  Did we even use those plates? Heck no!!!

A closeup of some of the artistry.

Awesomeness.  This is a lemon fish with peanuts as the fins...AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS.

Did I mention that we also got a chocolate bar, and two boxes of truffles (8 total truffle awesomeness)?

Even though this experience was NOT Weight Watchers friendly (I don't think there could be a bigger understatement--maybe if I went on a bacon-tasting tour...), this was one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life.

I just put 30 points in my points tracker, but I think that might have been generous.  Even though I held back, and didn't eat nearly as much as I normally would have, I still sampled: a bite of a champagne truffle, at least 10 mini- chocolates in production, a caramel, two bites of a dark chocolate truffle, an entire yellow fish, and a bite of a yellow fish, and a bite of a pink fish.

And, I have a gutache right now.

On the bright side, I did make myself swim this morning--40 laps in 27 minutes!

Anything to look on the brighter side of this train wreck!!!!

Check out Moonstruck's site here:  Support them!!!!


  1. This looks like the most amazing experience ever!!!! I am so jealous. I saw a tour of Vosges once on an episode of EcoTrip and they didn't have nearly the intricate detail!!

  2. I LOVE Moonstruck chocolates. The lemon fish is one of my favorites... oh, who am I kidding. They're all my favorites. We have a candy store in Wausau that sells Moonstruck and every now and then they have a tasting party. I photographed one for work and it was by far my favorite assignment EVER.


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