The pages of Watch It Made are festooned with sweets. This is not only because we (and especially our kids) love good candy. In addition to offering free treats, tours of candy factories show you the inventive manufacturing and sheer artistry that go into making their confections, which are often as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. Moreover, candy-making companies with tours can be found in almost every region of the U.S.
While all chocolate-making uses similar processes, each chocolate tour offers a unique brand of fun. Take Long Grove Confectionery Company, near Chicago, where giant chocolate sculptures loom over you as you arrive. The stuff of dentists' nightmares, these include a nine-foot-high Statue of Liberty that weighs over a ton and an extremely jolly 500-pound Santa Claus.
In Kentucky, Rebecca-Ruth Candies combines chocolate withwhat else?Kentucky's world-famous bourbon. The story of the two brave schoolteachers who founded the company richly pervades every nook of this tour.
Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, PA, offers a very different experience in the form of a 12-minute ride in a cocoa-bean-shaped cart through vivid exhibits about the chocolate-making process.
How do candy canes get their stripes? These and other secrets of the hard-candy business are answered in a tour of Hammond's Candies in Denver, CO. This tour draws you into the heart of the process, from the kettles that combine water, sugar, and corn syrup at over 300° Fahrenheit, through the methods of adding colors to the candy, to the machine that puts the twist in the stripes. And just in case you were wondering, at Hammond's the distinctive crook in each candy cane is made by a person, not a machine.
In Fairfield, CA (near the Bay Area), Jelly Belly Candy Co. churns out jelly beans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a tour lets you taste the energy and vast scale of its operations in making jelly beans in over 40 flavors. The Jelly Belly Candy Trail, an elevated walkway through the huge manufacturing site, is your path through a candyland of intense aromas and amazing machines.
Posted By Karen Axelrod Feb 28, 2007