Touring the Theo Chocolate Factory
|Just moments ago the box held 4 caramels and 4 ganache chocolates, and then we sampled just a few, sliver by sliver.|
Chocolate, dark chocolate, truly good chocolate is absolutely the food of the gods. No, really, don't scoff. The scientific name (Greek) for the cacao tree is Theobroma Cacao and means "Food of the Gods". I heard that yesterday on a tour of Theo Chocolate Factory in Seattle's Fremont Neighborhood. I toured, I ate, and I now I believe... it is indeed the food of the gods!
I learned all sorts of interesting chocolate factoids during the tour, and a Wikipedia article (link) listed a gazillion more for me today. Did you know that chocolate may be a health food, can improve circulation, might fight migraines, could delay brain function decline in the aged, and is a mild non-caffeinated stimulant? Beyond all that, the truly important fact is that good chocolate tastes heavenly. (and Theo chocolate is way beyond good!)
Theo Chocolate production facilities are located in funky, quirky Fremont, self-proclaimed center of the universe. The old brick warehouse at 3400 Phinney Avenue N. looked familiar when we pulled up. I'd been there before... many years before... on a tour... when the building housed the old Red Hook Brewery. Tasting tours are always fun, and how can you top beer or chocolate?
The company has won recognition and awards for its business practices and fair-trade committment. The chocolate has won local, national and international awards for taste and quality. Oprah included Theo Chocolate on her 2008 Best List. After sampling my way through the entire collection in the retail display area, I agree with the plaudits. Theo produces some amazing chocolate. No, I can't pick a favorite yet, though I'm leaning toward the caramel confectionary dark chocolate choices rather than the chocolate bars. I might have to taste my way through all of the the winter offerings again (and again, and...)
|It all begins with the seeds, about 20 per pod, picked from the trunk of the cacao tree.|
|Hilary smilingly displays her chocolate treasure bag.|
|I restrained myself and only brought a few items home to share.|