A tasty day trip to Seattle Chocolates
By LISA KATSMAN
Mercer Island Reporter Columnist
September 14, 2011 · 11:01 AM
Have you ever had the most perfect day when you spent the entire morning in a real chocolate factory? Talk about a euphoric moment. I spent my entire morning at the factory of Seattle Chocolates in Tukwila, Washington.
Upon arriving and opening the front door I was greeted with the most wonderful smell and sensation of fresh, warm chocolate. Niel met me at the door and my journey began. We donned white aprons and hairnets, and off we went.
First we went to the test kitchen. Talk about a Willy Wonka moment. I could not believe my eyes when I was actually watching people hand-chop kosher marshmallows. Yes, kosher. (I read the VAAD certification myself.) They are perfecting a new flavor of truffle called rocky road truffles. I was then shown the delicate trays that are hand designed and crafted by multiple people to get the designs perfected. These dome shapes are reminiscent of a glamorous art deco age of the roaring 1920s and the early days of ageless architecture from the days of early chocolate history when the Mayans used cacao as currency.
Upon leaving the test kitchen, we went to a different test kitchen where there were nine vats of chocolate containers slowly melting chocolate. Can you imagine modern double broilers the size of a Smart car standing upright? The head chef was mixing the ingredients for the truffle flavor of the day. Truthfully, there are not many ingredients in fine chocolates. All the ingredients are labeled, numbered and coded to ensure the safest of USDA food standards. On site at Seattle Chocolates is a full-time USDA inspector.
Once the liquid chocolate goes thru a series of machines to get it to its purest form of heaven, it is poured into molds, gently shaken (to allow the air bubbles to escape), vibrated, cooled, and then the outer layer of chocolate is added. You then have a Frango chocolate. Seattle Chocolates produces all the Frango chocolates for the Northwest.
Seattle Chocolates is working on new flavors and truffles all the time. They have truffles that weigh one ounce and are a true commitment in eating enjoyment. Speaking of the Mayan culture, the highlight flavor reminds one of a dreamcicle. Remember the old summer favorite of an orange-flavored dreamcicle ice cream bar. This truffle is a marriage of flavors that just want to make you leap for joy. Upon your first bite, your smell and taste buds experience a rush of fresh, juicy oranges. Gently as the flavor melts away, you then receive a mild sensation of salt. The salt will slowly dissipate and you will taste a wonderful savory essence of vanilla. Lastly, when you think that your taste buds cannot take anymore, your body slightly warms up with a hint of Chili Maria pepper from the Mayans. This truffle was truly an amazing moment in my chocolate eating experience.
Upon writing this article, they are in the completion phase of their new retail and second store. You should really take a moment and go on a field trip to Tukwila.
Contact Mercer Island Reporter Columnist Lisa Katsman at firstname.lastname@example.org.