A few weeks ago, I took 21 students to a conference in San Francisco. It was a large group and we split up to see different parts of the city when the conference was not in session. Two students and I walked from downtown to Ghirardelli Square to explore around.
At this point, the chocolate factory was no longer in use, but they had some sample pieces to show how the chocolate used to be made at this site. Here are the steps to making chocolate, as told by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory:
1. Cocoa Bean Roasting
The sign above the roaster reads: “An outer shell of the cocoa bean is removed leaving behind the inside which is called a nib. These nibs are then roasted thus developing their unique chocolate flavor.”
2. Chocolate Mills
The sign above the mills reads: “In three-tiered mills, a combination of grinding and frictional heat melt the cocoa nibs into a liquid called chocolate liquor or unsweetened chocolate as we know it today.”
The sign above the Melanger reads: “Granite rollers then mix the chocolate liquor with selected ingredients. These may include whole milk powder, sugar, vanilla, and additional cocoa butter in varying amounts, depending on the chocolate being made.”
This whole system was originally driven by belts from a steam engine. Today, it is likely turned by an electric motor, and the belts and pulleys are a decoration.
The chocolate was excellent, as expected, and we had a great time.
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