“Charlie looked down at the candy bar. He ran his fingers slowly back and forth along the length of it, stroking it lovingly, and the shiny paper wrapper made little sharp crackly noises in the quite room.”
So starts one of the most enduring children’s stories ever told, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The book become a monster success, and once it was adapted into a movie (the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, pre-Depp), chocolate factories and candy companies saw a golden ticket of opportunity of their own—open their doors to the public so the masses could see how their delicious confections were made.
Granted, chocolate factories and candy companies had offered tours before Charlie or Willy ever came on the scene, but the power of the narrative has made something of a cottage industry out of, well, chocolate touring.
In Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation’s Bedre Chocolate Factory offers “viewings” to anyone with a hankering to see how their chocolate is made and sample some of the tasty treats. The 18,000-square-foot facility is equipped with large picture windows where vistors get to watch the chocolate being poured, crafted, and wrapped from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
And what kind of confections are they creating? Milk crisps, hot fudge, pecan caramel sensations, peanut clusters, and white fudge crisps to name a few.
For chocolate lovers craving more information, visit their site here.