“Mom! this is like visiting the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory!” said my 9-year-old daughter after our Valor Chocolate Factory visit in Spain.
Who decides to visit a chocolate factory? A family filled with chocolateholics that’s who! Although I left our youngest chocolateholic at home, the older two kids were thrilled to visit.
For years, I’ve brought many tablets of Valor chocolate in my suitcase home every time I visit Spain. And, that’s one gift my family and friends bring with them when they visit us in the States!
It’s not that there aren’t some amazing chocolate brands in the US, it’s just that I grew up with Valor, and it has a sweet nostalgic taste I often crave. Oddly enough, it’s marketed as an adult chocolate in Spain, because of it’s rich, deep chocolate flavor.
When it comes to chocolate, my kids must be adult connoisseurs because they love their smooth dark chocolate. I try to hide all the chocolate in the house in our pantry on the top shelf, but they’ve already learned where they can find it. And more than once, I’ve found them boosting themselves up trying to reach it.
Overall, the chocolate factory visit was educational for the kids. They learned how chocolate is grown, processed in a factory, and how the different sources of chocolate impact the flavor.
Some interesting facts about chocolate:
- A cocoa tree produces 8kg or 17 pounds of cocoa per year, in two crops and it is a shade tree
- Cocoa trees like warm, humid environments
- Cocoa bean pods are approximately 20 cm or 8 inches and hold 20-60 seeds inside
- Cocoa seeds are washed, dried, roasted, and then shelled to get the cocoa nibs out
- Mixing the cocoa nibs with cocoa butter and sugar produces a paste-like mixture that is then mixed with milk to make chocolate
The tour itself consists of a video montage that explains Valor’s history and how they select their ingredients. Unfortunately for my kids, we did not go on the English tour (I should have checked the tour schedule first), so I was their translator. After the video, you visit the chocolate museum. It’s filled with a collection of the earliest chocolate presses and ovens. Again, make sure you check the tour times because I translated most of the visit.
After the museum, you get to walk through the factory and see the chocolate filling lines. The factory tour itself is viewed through a platform and ends in my kid’s favorite part: the chocolate store.
You can imagine that the best part of any chocolate factory visit is the sampling at the end of the tour. While I couldn’t take pictures inside the facility, the operations were impressive. As you can see, we purchased our fair share of chocolate to bring back home with us.
Do you have a chocolate loving family? What are some of your favorite ways to eat chocolate?
Stay tuned for more chocolate recipes coming your way soon. For now, you can check out some of my favorite chocolate recipes you can find on this website.
Healthy Fudgy Brownies