I don’t work in our production area on a daily basis, when I have the good fortune of finding myself back there I’m always amazed at how everything seems to work like a well oiled machine. The manufacturing of our chocolate looks as if it’s part of a synchronized dance that is set in place by the humming of machines and shuffle of our production workers.
Our confection creations begin with large tanks slowly stirring the chocolate before inclusions such as raspberries or almonds get poured in them making your favorite bar come together. Once the bars are set into the molds, they meticulously come out of the lines and workers inspect to make sure each bar looks like perfection. They are then wrapped in our labels with an inspiring animal on the cover and boxed-up before moving back into shipping.
In shipping, you’ll see precisely labeled boxes our quality department has put together letting our production workers know about any allergens they contain and eliminating the chance of cross contamination for our customer’s.
Finally, forklifts whisk by you carrying boxes of chocolate as they get set-up on pallets which are then picked-up and shipped off to ultimately end up on the shelves of your favorite store. In my next post we’ll explore ESC’s new test kitchen.
Seeking solace from the pine pollen that was kicking my allergies into overdrive, I spent much of my Saturday morning indoors at my favorite coffee shop. In true Monica-style, I set up camp – covering the table with my sketch pad, colored pencils, soy chai and a dangerously dark Endangered Species Chocolate bar. Just as I was about to don a pair of headphones and start drawing, the fellow at the next table pointed at my chocolate bar and asked why it had a picture of a panther on the wrapper. Once I finished waxing poetic about the virtues of all-natural, ethically traded chocolate that supports species conservation, he looked at me with an impish grin and said, “I’m allergic to chocolate.”
Suddenly my itchy eyes, stuffy nose and headache from the pollen seemed like small potatoes. Imagine that for a moment. An allergy to chocolate. No chocolate bars, chocolate cakes, chocolate ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate truffles! “How do you cope?” was the only question I could muster. He laughed and said that he never really developed a taste for chocolate so he didn’t feel like he was missing out on much (unlike this poor soul).
After doing some research, I found out that allergies to cocoa (the bean that is the main ingredient in chocolate) are exceedingly rare. It’s more likely that the fellow I met over coffee had an allergy to one of the ingredients in chocolate. Milk, peanuts and tree nuts, wheat and gluten, and soy are often the ingredients found in some chocolate bars that can trigger allergies. Symptoms of a chocolate allergy can include headaches, heartburn, hives or difficulty breathing. In severe cases, a person can go into anaphylactic shock. It’s pretty serious and there’s no over-the-counter pill that can cure this allergy – the only way to avoid issues is to pass on the chocolate.
Do you know someone that is allergic to chocolate? Comments welcome below!
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