Charlie & The Chocolate Factory….A Chocolate Lover’s Tale!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a well known book turned movie about a poor young boy named Charlie Bucket.  Charlie is the lucky winner of one of the golden tickets that grants access to the eccentric and very exciting Wonka Chocolate Factory, owned and run by Willie Wonka, chocolate extraordinaire!  The story is timeless and has been loved since its creation by writer Roald Dahl in 1964. To keep Charlie and the Chocolate factory alive and in the hearts of the children that fell in love with this chocolate tale, Roald Dahl released Charlie and The Glass Elevator in 1971 as a sequel to Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.  With a woven tale of the deliciousness of chocolate and the enchanted magic land brought to life by a chocolate lovers imagination most have come to wonder how Roald Dahl created such a masterpiece with chocolate as its focal point! Well, believe it or not it comes on the heels of his own love for chocolate and his experiences as a child!

Back in the 1920’s when Roald Dahl was yet to be the famous author he is, and just a young school boy he had a love for chocolate. Growing up in England, home of two of the best & largest chocolate companies, Cadbury and Rowntree, Dahl often had exposure to these companies through school.  Determined to be accredited as the best chocolate maker both companies competitively tried to win the love of England’s chocolate lovers starting at a young age. Cadbury chocolate company ( think Cadbury Easter eggs) in an attempt to perfect their chocolate, would send smaples of their products to the schools in return for feedback from the kids on their chocolate and new products offered. The school kids, such as Roald Dahl himself, loved the free & delicious chocolate and welcomed the decadent taste testing.  However, both chocolate companies would not let the other “one up” them. This in turn fueled the competition between each chocolate company. It in fact ignited such a big competitive flame that both chocolate companies were known to send in spies posing as employees to the others chocolate factory to potentially steal secrets and recipes. Hmmm, sounds like a story most of us have heard! Indeed this is the inspiration to Roald Dahl’s timeless best selling children’s book, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory! A story that we once thought could only be imagined, actually was based on true events!!

Needless to say, although the roots of the story of Willie Wonka and his Chocolate Factory are important nothing perhaps is more important than the happiness and wonder that it has brought in the eyes of children.  Watching the movie and seeing the creative and elaborate chocolate facility is a dream of many young kids, as well as chocolate lover’s throughout the world. Reading the book an using your own imagination perhaps makes it even more magical.

As a blog dedicated to chocolate and the love and deliciousness that it provides to all those throughout the world, we thought it only right to dedicate a post to Roald Dahl, chocolate lover and most possibly one of the greatest children’s writers of all time.  If truth be told, I’m sure it is pretty safe to say that even adults love Charlie & The Chocolate Factory in all it’s chocolate splendor.


How To Make Chocolate at Home!

With all this talk about chocolate, what kind is the best (totally a persoanl preference) and so on, we thought why not share a way to make chocolate at home!!  Not only does it allow you to experiment and create your own delicious creations, it’s also really fun & easy to do with kids!  Maybe chocolate making will become your new favorite hobby.  All we know is if you make great chocolate we don’t mind if you send some our way!


Love, Chocolate & An Empire!

We know that there are many different levels when it comes to being a chocolate lover.  Some enjoy a sweet treat now and then, while some chocolate lovers may crave a rich, decadent treat daily, and some chocolate lovers have made it their profession! In fact, a friend of mine, Peggy Williams, decided that her love of chocolate was so great she was going to start a chocolate making business, and that she did!!  Peggy started her chocolate business probably about 5 years ago now.  She started out in a small shop but within the first year moved into a slightly larger one and from there continued to make a name for herself as one of the best chocolate makers in Machesney Park, IL.  Her store “Chocolate Foundations” has multiple best of the community awards, has an ever growing clientele, and is home to some of the most delicious, fudge, truffles, and all things chocolate you can think of.

 She also offers personalized wrappers for bars and such should you want to do a fundraiser, use her chocolate as a party favor etc. She delivers her chocolate all over Machesney Park and even has a fleet of what she calls chocolate mobiles!  Peggy is not only a dear friend of mine but is genuinely a great chocolate artist and creative at that.  To market her business she wanted to step outside of the box and reach people in a way that would make them remember her to try her chocolate and then once they tried her delicious creations stand out in their mind.  Her chocolate is thus wrapped in bright colored wrappers, some with a simple well wish, and some with wishes of love and happiness.  So what did Peggy Williams from Machesney Park, IL do?  She enlisted Mid Coast Customs vinyl wrappers to wrap her fleet of chocolate mobiles!!  What’s even better about this story is that she wrapped each car to look like one of her personalized chocolate bars!!  Needless to say she got the attention of many!!  Kids from all around Machesney Park and it’s surrounding towns look for her “chocolate mobiles” out on the roads.  Her cars vibrant beautifully vinyl wrapped art set her apart from the rest!! Add in great chocolate and Peggy is a force to be reckoned with.

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Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

White chocolate has always been viewed as the lesser chocolate because it just doesn’t stand up to the decadence of dark or milk chocolates, and its sweetness is deceiving and somewhat waxy.  In fact many will argue the white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all.  And those that argue this are in fact true!  White chocolate is not actually “real” chocolate and I will tell you why!

First let’s start with where chocolate actually comes from, the cocoa bean.  Chocolate nib is extracted from the cocoa bean and ground down into a paste called chocolate liquor (no there isn’t actually real alcohol in this).  From there the liquor is separated into 2 parts, cocoa solids and cocoa fats.  Cocoa solids are where the actual flavor comes from in chocolate.  It’s what gives it that rich decadent taste we all crave so much.  On the other hand cocoa fats or what we call cocoa butter doesn’t actually have any flavor at all.  So now we have these two parts and the chocolate process begins.  While dark chocolate and milk chocolate bars have both cocoa butter and cocoa solids in them white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids whatsoever.  The FDA actually only requires white chocolate to contain 20% cocoa butter in order to be labeled as chocolate.  In turn the FDA deems white chocolate as a “solid semi plastic food” and we are eating that!!!  Because the cocoa butter is absolutely flavorless, white chocolate must get it’s flavor from different additives such as sweeteners, whey, dairy products, spices and other emulsifying agents!  In fact white chocolate can even be made by you at home with just 3 ingredients.  If you take cocoa butter, powdered milk and powdered sugar combine them together and put them in your microwave you will have made your own white chocolate!

So you decide what chocolate team you are on White Vs. Dark/Milk Chocolate, because there really seems to be no in between when it comes to liking both.  The fact that the FDA deems white chocolate as a semi plastic food is scary enough in it’s own right, however there are some delicious desserts to be eaten that do include white chocolate.   

Another interesting fact about this great chocolate debate is that while cocoa butter lends no chocolate flavor to any chocolate it is actually the only thing between cocoa beans and itself that actually carries the aroma of chocolate.  That’s right.  Cocoa beans have no chocolate aroma at all while cocoa butter has the distinct smell of delicious milk chocolate!

It is up to you to decide what chocolate you prefer and what you deem as actual real chocolate.  But the verdict is in and white chocolate doesn’t really stack up to that of dark/milk chocolate delights we all have come to enjoy so much.


Marketing & Chocolate??

Chocolate brightens the souls and spirits of many with it’s delicious melt in your mouth characteristics.  In movies you’ll see women who have just gone through a breakup reach for something with chocolate in it to help cope and brighten their mood. In the movie Charlie And The Chocolate Factory poor young Charlie lived for the scrumptious taste of that sweet treat he was so fortunate to get only on his birthday.  Halloween is even based around giving chocolate to trick or treating children for the sheer joy of the sugary taste of chocolates and other candies.   Chocolate in any form has been a joy of the majority of the world for many decades and will continue it’s delicious legacy into the future.  As a matter of fact no matter where you are in the world there is chocolate to be found.  While some are more sought after versions than others it is safe to say that their are many different brands and different forms to enjoy chocolate in.  From cakes, brownies and other desserts to chocolate bars, kisses, and pieces there are versions for virtually all tastes and desires.

So knowing how great chocolate is and seeing the simple joy on people’s faces when eating it why not incorporate it into your marketing strategy for your business?  That is what a friend of mine at Pool Remodel Phoenix did!  Mark said he first had the idea of handing out a treat when he went to look at apartments for his daughter who was starting college.  In one of the leasing offices they provided a candy bar with their apartment name and logo printed on the label of each bar.  It was their take a way treat for you after viewing their amenities!!  While enjoying his chocolate bar on the way home he remarked to his daughter how they sweetened the deal by handing these candy bars out.  That is when he thought himself…”Sweeten The Deal”  not only were they providing a little extra something to say thank you for your business they were also literally sweetening the deal with choclate.  Afterall he sure was enjoying this sweet treat after apartment hunting all day.  The sugar in the chocolate was also waking him up and giving him a little sugar buzz.  So he felt great after leaving this said leasing office and why wouldn’t that stay with him while making the decision on which apartment to move his daughter into!

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Hershey’s Chocolate

One of the most popular and famous candy bars out there is The Hershey Bar.  Whether you like the simple milk chocolate goodness of the original Hershey Bar or perhaps almonds intertwined with the famous Hershey chocolate in the Hershey bar with almonds, or simply the small delicious delight of the Hershey kiss, one thing is certain Hersheys are beloved by many. The Hershey factory finds it’s home in Hershey, Pennsylvania where the Hershey Chocolate World also resides.  Founded in 1886 by Milton S. Hershey, Hershey chocolate has been around for over 100 years!  So how exactly did the Hershey company begin?  Milton Hershey grew up in rural Pennsylvania and was a very kind spirited boy.  He loved making people happy and found he could with chocolate!  His third attempt at a confectionary company was a caramel making facility.  There he came up with Hershey’s cocoa which made it’s debut in 1894.  Once the cocoa was out in circulation and he found how much his consumers loved his product he took it a few steps further and came up with the Hershey chocolate bar!!!

 With his success in the chocolate industry he aspired to share it with the people of his town.  He created a multitude of jobs for the town folk as well as built an incredible town system complete with trolley’s and school’s for the factory workers children.  He aspired to create a good quality of life for everyone.

Deciding that happy workers were better workers, thus creating better chocolate, Milton built Hershey Park so that his factory employees and their families could relax, unwind and have some good old family fun.  

Then in 1907 Milton had another brilliant idea regarding the production of his chocolate and that is when the hershey kiss was born! In the beginning stages of it’s chocolate debut each hershey kiss was wrapped with foil by hand!! Talk about a tedious job!  As the years went on the Hershey factory continued to succeed and it’s chocolate became a more and more loved treat.  With Milton’s success he continued to give back to society and his community.  Deciding that orphaned boys who otherwise were excluded from “polite” society needed a chance Milton built the Hershey School for Orphaned boys.  His dream was that he could give these unfortunate children an education and a chance to succeed in life when no one else would.  

In 1927 the girl scout recipe book published the first ever S’more recipe using Hershey’s chocolate.  It is said that S’mores got their name because after eating one everyone would ask for “some more”!  

Who knew the chocolate company we love so much had such an amazing story behind its success.  Milton S. Hershey left a legacy in chocolate and also in compassion for others!


The Benefits of Chocolate And Exercise

Chocolate.  Chocolate has been said to be an aphrodisiac, to produce the same feel good hormones that come from doing things that feel good and we enjoy.  It is known to be a stimulant because of the caffeine and sugar content, as well as something the body craves because of the fat content, which the human body stores to create energy.  What some of us, including myself, did not necessarily know was that chocolate is also a great tasting quick energy boosting fix for avid hikers.  When I say hikers I mean the type of hiking advocates that go on organized expeditions through beautiful canyons and mountain ranges.  The kind that spend a few hours just exploring all that nature has to offer.  While I myself wouldn’t think chocolate would be a first choice snack for the obvious health conscious, I did see first hand that chocolate is literally enjoyed and eaten by even the healthy exercise enthusiasts of the world.

While on a hiking trip and exploring the great Grand Staircase of Utah a few fellow hikers in my group pulled out organic chocolate bars as we sat on a grouping of rocks taking a small break from our beautiful hiking tour.  I mentioned that I was an avid chocolate lover myself and that all this hiking was sure to award me with a chocolate bar or some delicious dessert when I returned home.  One of the hikers by the name of Alex smiled and said that he often brought a chocolate bar with him on long hikes or even trail mix mixed with chocolate pieces.  He told me he didn’t scarf the whole chocolate bar at once, or the trail mix for that matter.  He said eating a piece here and there gave him a quick energy boost and the added fat helped to keep his momentum sustainable. Laughing he said “eating chocolate puts me in a better mood”!  I told him I never thought about it that way but that actually sounded like a very good idea to me.  He then leaned over and offered me a piece of his organic sea salt and chocolate bar. Winking he said the salt helps replenish all that I have lost through sweating.  Laughing I thanked him and ate my chocolate.  Then, then something amazing happened.  We started on our trek through this naturistic wonder of beauty, and I felt more energized, definitely in a better mood, and just an all over feeling of contentment.  The hike we took was breathtakingly beautiful, the group of friends I was with and I had an incredible day.

So although many look at chocolate as a sinful delight, something that you feel like you need to get a good workout in to enjoy, really is meant to be enjoyed at any given time.  Perhaps it goes hand in hand with the old saying “Everything in moderation”.  Moderately eating chocolate on a day to day basis sounds just fine to me!!


Belgian V.S. Swiss Chocolate



It’s a well known fact that most people absolutely love CHOCOLATE!  Why do we love chocolate so much?  Well other than the fact that it is delicious, it also contains theobromine which is known to increase your heart rate and promote feelings of arousal.  Let’s not forget to mention the fat and sugar found in chocolate brings feelings of contentment because the human body craves the calorie dense ingredients.   It doesn’t sound like chocolate can get much better, however, it does.  The real debate rests with which is better Belgian VS. Swiss chocolate.

   Many will agree that the truth lies in the taste preference of the chocolate eater.  That being said let’s break down the difference between these two exquisite, melt in your mouth, delicious treats.

  Switzerland is perhaps known most for it’s divine chocolate and being the creative mastermind behind the invention of milk chocolate.  The Swiss are also accredited for having the idea to add cocoa butter back to chocolate. Because of this technique as well as conching( warming chocolate and then grinding it between rollers) the texture is much smoother and creamy then other types of chocolates.  In fact Swiss chocolate was thought to be so mesmerizing it was banned for awhile in Switzerland because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac!

 Belgian chocolate on the other hand is a competitive comparison in it’s own right.  The Belgians were recognized for inventing the praline as well as chocolate truffles which can contain various decadent fillings.  The Belgian also sought to find their own source of chocolate supply and in doing so acquired the Congo.  Belgium gets virtually all of its cocoa for chocolate production from Africa still to this day.  Switzerland on the other hand, sources it’s cocoa from both Africa and South America.  Another fact that sets Belgian chocolate apart from the rest is their method of storage.  Most chocolate companies receive their chocolate in solid form and then must reheat it to melted form to use it.  The Belgian however keep the chocolate at melted temperature and have it delivered in heated tanker trucks.  This method is said to preserve more of the flavors!

There is definitely a contrast between Belgian and Swiss chocolate that allows for all taste buds to be satisfied.  For those of you chocolate lovers that crave milk chocolate, Swiss chocolate is the way to go!  Because of the way the Swiss craft their milk chocolate there is a higher milk content which makes it creamier, as well as less cocoa and more sugar.  For those of you chocolate enthusiasts that desire the bitter taste of dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate is the way to go! Belgian chocolate is produced using more cocoa giving it that bitter dark chocolate flavor.

In the end both Swiss and Belgian chocolate are desired by a multitude of chocolate lovers worldwide.  Their unique characteristics make them enjoyable and a true gift to the chocolate industry.





We have tried a lot of chocolate over the years, and have made a lot of recommendations based on what we have tried. Although there seems to be one common suggestions from those that have been following us, which is, “recommend something we can easily find.” Unfortunately most delicate chocolates are not easy to come by, as they are not typically found in your local connivence store. So we wanted to make a recommendation that almost anyone can try.

Lindt – A Touch of Sea Salt

For chocolate lovers who want an everyday chocolate that is easy to find at your local connivence store then Lindt’s A Touch of Sea Salt is a great option. It’s dark structure is satisfying to almost any dark chocolate lover, and it’s smooth finish with a touch of sea salt perfectly rounds the flavor. In blind taste tests that we have performed this chocolate has outperformed chocolate that is 3x the cost.

You might be surprised by what goodness is hiding at your local convienence store.





For our first review we would like to introduce you to a wonderful chocolate company out of Boulder Colorado, Chocolove. After trying their bars on multiple occasions we can’t help but think they are one of the best chocolate bars on the market. Offering authentic Belgian chocolate in a variety of flavors, there is surely something that everyone will like. Chocoloves chocolate is extremely smooth, and will have even the most loyal milk chocolate fans appreciating the dark chocolate offered by Chocolove. From the bars we have tried we would have to say our favorites are the mint, salted almond, and the 73% dark chocolate.