Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Konos Stewardship: All About Chocolate

Konos Unit: Stewardship
Theme: NERF - Nutrition, Exercise, Rest, and Fun

We've studied and read a lot about food lately. We've even had some fun learning about chocolate!

We've read library books about how chocolate is made and we just finished reading Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the book that became the movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".


So I was super excited when a last minute opportunity came up for us to go with our homeschool group to visit Schakolad Chocolate Factory (pronounced shaq-oh-LAD) and learn more about chocolate from a true chocolate connoisseur.

When we opened the door to the store, the delightful smell of sweet chocolate came flooding out. But that was just a teaser to the beautiful creations we would see inside.


There are many beautiful works of chocolate art in display cases.


Of course, there are cases of smaller bite-size treats as well.


We had a small group of 9 people. We started our tour with the owner talking to us about cacao beans. They grow only in the warm, wet, shady areas of the rainforests around the equator. The ancient civilizations of the Aztecs and Mayans used cacao beans as currency in their early societies. They created a drink called chocolatl which was kind of a watery cocoa drink without sweetener. Although it was bitter, it was considered a luxury and only consumed by the wealthy and powerful ones in society.

After our class time, we moved on to the taste testing. What better way to get educated on the different components and flavors used in chocolate than to actually sample them for yourself?

We gathered around the owner with his tray of bite-sized pieces.


He let us try each one. There was milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, flavored chocolate, and more.


Most were yummy but Nicholas wasn't very fond of sugar-free chocolate.


We saw a real pod that the cacao beans grow in when they are high up in the tree.


Then we saw the real cacao beans.


Finally, it was time to make our own chocolate creations!

Everyone started with a thorough hand washing.

There was a beautiful machine keeping melted milk chocolate churning around, all warm and creamy. Nicholas scooped some up and poured it into some candy molds.


He added a stick and after they cooled he had his own handmade chocolate lollipop!


Then we hand dunked marshmallows in the yummy chocolate and let them cool and harden.


Once we were all done making our confections it was time to clean up.


Schakolad Chocolate Factory is located in The Shops at Legacy, 7140 Bishop Road. Suite 1122 in Plano. They are open Mon-Wed 11:00am-8:00pm and Thurs-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm. For more information, please call them at 972-801-2577 or visit the Schakolad Chocolate Factory website.

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