Wednesday, July 20, 2011
A Tour of Kilwins Kitchen -- Ice Cream and Chocolate!
We have had Kilwins Ice Cream down in Florida several times and always enjoyed the rich flavor and quality of the product. We were unaware however, that Kilwins had started in Petoskey, and is still headquartered there. Of course, when we learned that they offer tours of their kitchen, we had to visit!
The tour is focused on their headquarters chocolate making operation -- which was just fine with us. They also offer a very complete ice cream selection, but that is made in a different location. Still, Orinda was impressed with this sample!
The kitchens are spotless and while fully modern (this location just opened last month), we learned from our tour guide that the chocolates are still made the old fashioned way for the best quality taste (we were able to "test" this claim a bit later).
This batch of carmels had just been made and was cooling before being covered with nuts and chocolate. It was fun to learn how these candies were made and to see them at each step.
This is the chocolate covering machine -- a neat device if I ever saw one! The worker put pieces of caramel and nuts on the belt and they would move into the dunking area.
Here, the candies are coated with hot chocolate and then move into a cooling are. This thing made thousands of individual candies while we watched. Rick was very impressed with this machine, especially when he learned that it had to be completed dismantled at the end of each run for cleaning. That must be some job!
The tour ended in this reception area where we removed our booties and hair nets that were required. Our guide asked use to wait just a second while we looked at all the exhibits.
Sure enough, he quickly returned with samples of some of the candies we had just seen. We sampled the pecan/caramel chocolates that were wonderful! Orinda seems to think that the tour was pretty good and the reward at the end was worthwhile!