Taza chocolate = amazing. Tracy and I took the factory tour over the weekend. We didn’t see any chocolate being made (no production on the weekends), but there were plenty of samples, and the guides were awesome. The company uses organic ingredients, engages in direct trade, and is all about sustainability. What’s not to love.
I may never buy another Hershey’s bar again. This is the real deal. Bean to bar. Here’s one of our guides explaining the roasting process*.
*Before the company bought this roaster, employees would have to schlep bags of cacao beans over to JP, where they would rent JP Licks’s roaster by the hour. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And, I finally took a tour of the Loring-Greenough House in JP. I love touring historic houses and seeing how people lived during different time periods. There are always so many quirky stories about the artifacts and the residents. And always a passionate group of people who value the historical importance of the houses, and save them from being demolished or sold to someone who would renovate it or turn it into condos.
This house’s history is especially interesting because its first owner was a Tory. Loring built his “country house” in 1760. Then the shit hit the fan with the Revolution, and he and his family had to flee because they were being threatened right and left. Apparently, they expected to return to the house, because they buried and hid a lot of their valuables. But alas, they never did return; they ended up moving back to England. Throughout the years, the following owners (Greenoughs) and then the nonprofit org that runs it have uncovered a bunch of the hidden things! The Greenoughs uncovered an entire wine and liquor cellar that had been buried. The nonprofit org uncovered a sack of children’s toys under a floorboard while doing some maintenance. A silver bowl was found buried in the yard, etc. What fun!
So, anyway, the Lorings skipped town, and their house was in limbo for a bit…it was “confiscated” Tory property and became a military hospital, a bakery…until finally it ended up in the hands of the Greenough family. Multiple generations lived there until 1924, when a family member decided to sell it. A local ladies’ association rallied and raised the money to buy it, so people such as myself could take a tour of it 87 years later. Thanks, ladies!