Shortly after moving to Boston, we found out about the Taza Chocolate Factory. First, their chocolate is very common in the stores around here, and I found out that they gave factory tours. Once I put all of this together, it was decided that we needed to go at some point. Then, through some internet poking around, I found out that the factory was doing an Choctober fest, where they would be melting chocolate and beer into several events in the month of October. With our love of both, it was kind of a done deal that we would attend. Then, I was able to find a Groupon discount for their tours…another score! So, we decided to do a factory tour and one of these events in the same day. In attendance the day we picked was Peak Organic Brewing Company, which is a brewery based out of Maine and makes all of their beers organically, as their name would lead you to believe. We tried all of their beers that they had that day, which by the way, were free to try. Free beer is always a surefire way to get us somewhere. All of their beers were really good. They had one that was a mocha stout, which had Taza chocolate in it, go figure. While it was absolutely a stout, it had a good taste. After some beer, we started our tour. Our guide was very energetic and fun! As seems to be standard with these tours, he explained the process of making chocolate and how they specifically get their cocoa beans. And, as is also standard, were free samples of the chocolate!
One of the large differences from the chocolate that we had at the Theo Factory in Seattle, which was noticeable immediately, was that this chocolate had a certain graininess to it. Before the tour, I tried one of the samples they had in the main room and placed it in my mouth and waited for it to melt, like they had told us to do at Theo, but it did not melt very well. When I crunched into it, I noticed that the texture was far different. Once we started the tour, our guide explained that this grainy texture was on purpose and what set their chocolate apart from many others. He talked about the stones (pictured above) that they use to make the chocolate, and this gives it this specific texture. This is the Central American way of making it, and the owner learned this during his travels, then brought it back to make at the factory. I have to say, I was a little uncertain about it in the beginning. I mean, all the chocolate I’ve ever had has been that smooth, melt in your mouth kind, but now that we’ve gotten a few more times, it’s really grown on me. I really like it, and it’s become the local favorite in our house. So, very great adventure, mixing a new kind of chocolate and beer!
PS. They had these cocoa nibs for us to try, which I bought a small pack afterwards. I am now addicted to them and put them on my bagel with peanut butter every morning…so good! Damn you marketing and samples on getting me hooked! I’ll just be mad at you as I enjoy your amazing nibs.
After the tour, we were both getting pretty hungry and lucky for us we were close to plenty of food options. We had heard some really great things about the S&S Deli, and we knew we were close to it. So, we took off on a little walk and had an amazing lunch. This restaurant is a Jewish deli with both the deli and restaurant connected. We picked some pretty normal sandwiches, then came across something called a Knish. Some people might know what this is and have eaten it a million times, but in my culturally sheltered life, I had never heard of it. So, being the adventurous people that we are, we gave it a try. We actually tried the potato variety..they had both the traditional and potato. Overall, everything was very good, even the knish. I would definitely go again and would have knish again. All the recommendations lived up to their hype.