So, it’s quiz time! Can you name the six steps in the chocolate-making process? Don’t feel bad, neither could I until I visited Videri Chocolate Factory, which is located at the historic Depot station in downtown Raleigh.
You can tour the Videri Chocolate Factory for free and learn about the “bean to bar to bliss” process. Courtney and I walked into Videri and immediately noticed the piles of cocoa beans to our left. Now that’s a lot of beans!
The friendly employee greeted us with a smile after Courtney and I made a few comments about the massive amounts of beans. He told us to walk around the factory for a self-guided tour. Each of the six steps has a sign with interesting facts and information. I won’t spoil all of the steps but I will tell you about my favorites.
We had the opportunity to see “winnowing” in action! During this third step before reaching chocolate bliss, the husk must be separated from the nib, the outside of the cocoa bean. The nibs fall to the left chamber and the husk gets sucked into the right chamber. Videri sells their husks for brewing chocolate-flavored beverages.
Step four is “grinding.” The cocoa nibs from step three are ground in stone mill grinders from 24 to 36 hours. During this step, the cocoa nibs begin to liquefy as cocoa butter is pulverized out of the nibs.
After taking the self-guided tour of Videri, we were instructed that the best part about the chocolate-making process is of course, eating! Courtney and I visited the counter to sample the different chocolate bars. Videri’s chocolate is delicious! I definitely appreciated the creative flavors. The pink peppercorn chocolate was unique and would be even more delectable paired with a glass of red wine. My favorite bar was the sea salt chocolate; what a perfect combination of sweet and salty. I had to purchase a bar to take home with me!
Bring your own bottle of wine to Videri and purchase a couple of chilled Videri chocolate rimmed wine glasses. The patio is a great spot to relax after receiving a lesson about chocolate-making! You can also sit inside with a bar of chocolate if you need a quiet place to work or just relax. Imagine yourself eating a sea salt chocolate bar with your feet kicked up on the patio, I can’t think of a better way to spend your afternoon.