Saturday, July 5, 2014

Trip to a Chocolate Factory

About a year ago, I visited the Wilbur Chocolate Company in Lititz, Pennsylvania, but never wrote about it here. Lititz is a nice small town, near Lancaster. It's also home to the first hard pretzel factory in the world (Julian Sturgis) and some nice antique stores and boutiques.

I became familiar with Wilbur chocolate after I moved to the Twin Cities, which is odd, since I grew up only a few hundred miles from the factory. Minnesota's food co-ops used to sell Wilbur Buds in their bulk sections (some may still do that).

A Wilbur Bud is similar to a Hershey's Kiss, except not individually wrapped. They're also more tasty and have a shinier surface and a nifty molded bottom. Mmmmm, Wilbur Buds.

The old Wilbur factory building is mostly a museum and retail store, with a few workers in hairnets making candy for the gawking tourists. But it has a nice collection of antique chocolate-making equipment...

...and lots and lots of packaging.

The displays also have a wide assortment of the large pans that were used to make the over-sized chocolate bars that were sold to dry goods stores, probably around the turn of the 20th century.

Sad how many of these brands no longer exist, except Hershey's, of course.

I didn't know that Baker's was a brand. I thought it was a generic ingredient.

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