Could you imagine a world covered, operated and thriving from chocolate? It would be a dream come true! Children and adults alike would be flocking to such a place just to get a taste of the devilishly delicious treat. Guess what…I found that place!
Welcome to Hershey’s Chocolate World!
Located in the small outskirts of the state of Pennsylvania, Hershey is not just a delicious candy bar…it’s a town! Can you guess what created this phenomenal destination? That’s right…Chocolate!
It was everywhere and I…well I was in heaven!
There were stores, museums, factories, theme parks…even gas stations that were based around chocolate! Could you imagine? As my buddy Will & I walked down the streets, we looked up to see that there was virtually chocolate everywhere. It was simply amazing at how even the street lamps were little Hershey Kisses on a pole (inedible of course) but that didn’t put a hamper on our excitement in the least bit.
Chocolate World sign directing us where to go next.
As we walked down Chocolate Avenue gleaming with excitement, we came across the Hershey Story. To find out, it was a museum explaining how this incredible place came into play…this was definitely something worth looking into.
The Hershey Story Museum.
Walking inside the main entrance, we were greeted with a wonderful display of Christmas decorations, smiling faces and of course chocolate! The place was immaculately clean and cool little stands were lined up everywhere showcasing the variety of equipment they used to use in the “good ole’ days” while making these delicious treats.
Some of the old school chocolate factory machinery.
It’s pretty interesting what they used to use.
Here they made the famous Hershey Kiss!
As we browsed through the museum reading up on the history of Hershey Chocolate, I realized I had no idea how much history there was for every little bite I took. Did you know that Hershey at one point in time had their own chocolate flavored chewing gum?
Hershey’s chewing gum sold at 5 cents!
Seemed interesting but I’d definitely have to give it a try! When it comes to chocolate, you just can’t go wrong. 😉 And how could you? I mean, the Hershey Company had been at the game since 1894 and still holds the title as the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Pure Soluble Hershey Cocoa Tin from 1901.
Map of the Cacao Growing Regions.
As we finished our tour through the museum and made our way down the stairs to see what else the building had to offer, Will & I stumbled across a really neat section of the building labeled the “Chocolate Lab”. Noticing that they offered classes teaching people how to make chocolate candy bars, we immediately signed up and waited for the doors to open.
Hershey’s Chocolate Lab.
I’m not going to lie, I was getting pretty ancy up until the doors opened up. At that point I had literally jumped out of my seat and urged Will to do the same so that we could get a table near the front of the room. Being quite a big fan of candy, I found all of the history surrounding it fascinating!
Real dried Cacao.
For one, at the time I had no idea that chocolate came from Cacao (a tropical fruit grown in a very particular section of the globe such as Costa Rica & Panama). The way the actually looked was very peculiar but interesting. It’s amazing at what you can learn! 🙂
Grinding the Cacao for Chocolate.
After being introduced and briefly covering some of the history of the Cacao nut and it’s region, the lab assistant began passing out ingredients so that we could put together our own batch of chocolate bars.
Ingredients I used in my chocolate bar.
Wanting to try something a bit different but with a little spice, I added some chocolate nibs, a pinch of cinnamon and even a little red pepper. Interesting combination don’t you think? I was not too sure at how this was going to come out but I didn’t mind taking the risk as it was one of those very unique situations that won’t happen too often.
Will and I toasting to Chocolate!
Mixing everything together and pouring our chocolate concoctions into the little plastic cases, Will and I handed our recipes to the lab assistant where she then took them into the kitchen to prepare for the final phase of cooking; cooling!
Chocolate Bars are done!
By the time it was all said and done, we got our bars back and began to munch on the tastiest treat I’d had in years! I’ve never sampled chocolate as fresh and delicious as this. It seemed like everything I bit down on was simply fresher than what I’ve ever had before!
MAN I love this place!
Welcome to Chocolate World!
Once we finished up in the Chocolate Lab, we asked the woman who guided us through the class on where she would recommend us go next. Of course, she said Chocolate World. Here you could find what seemed like the largest selection of candy as well as a 10 lb candy bar!
Anything you could think of that came from the Hershey Factory was right here and low and behold…my pockets went empty! Browsing around and even going on a small attraction ride, Will & I purchased some more candy then made our way back to the car to ensure we didn’t suffer too much of a stomach ache.
I made it to the Press!
At the end of the day the both of us had consumed our fair share of snacks and we were whooped. Leaving the dreamy town of Hershey behind, we drove down the road and continued on our way south to a more tropical climate: Daytona Beach, Florida!
Have you ever had the opportunity to visit such a delicious place as Hershey, Pennsylvania?
Ronald Robbins is the Founder of Active Planet Travels adventure travel blog and Clicta Digital, a digital marketing agency based out of Denver, Colorado. He has found most of his professional interests in being an adventure travel blogger, photographer & bizarre food enthusiast.