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The Process of Perfection

Chocolate in the making

In 1894, Milton Hershey wanted everyone to enjoy his sweet treats, so he began the tradition of using simple, delicious ingredients.

It all starts with the cacao pod

Cacao trees bear fruit twice per year. When harvested, the cacao fruit, or pod, is cut open to reveal the seeds and pulp. The seeds dry and ferment for about a week and a half to become cacao beans.

The roasting process brings out the flavors

Roasting completes the development of the chocolate flavor. Like in coffee, the amount of time and temperature is critical to obtaining the best flavor. A chocolatier will have different roasts for different beans. The high heat also helps dry and loosen the cacao shells from the center of the bean.

Winnowing separates the nib from its shell

This process separates the shell from the center of the bean. The beans are cracked and the light shells are vacuumed away. The small pieces of beans that are left are called nibs and are what will make the chocolate.

All chocolate starts unsweetened

Different kinds of nibs yield different chocolates. The nibs are ground, much like peanuts are ground to peanut butter, into unsweetened chocolate. The confectioner then picks the mixture of chocolate to create the desired flavor.

Farm fresh milk from local dairy farms

HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate is made with thousands of gallons of fresh milk delivered daily from farms within 100 miles of our factory in Hershey, PA. The milk is mixed with sugar and condensed to create a taffy-like consistency before mixing it with the unsweetened chocolate.

Adding milk and sugar to make chocolate crumb

The chocolate crumb is then put through refining machines to produce a super fine powder. We also incorporate cocoa butter, which comes from pressing the fat from unsweetened chocolate.

Next is the conching process

The conching process intensely mixes the ground crumb and additional cocoa butter. The mixture goes from a dry powder to a thick paste and finally to a smooth flow-able milk chocolate that has that famously smooth feeling in your mouth. During conching, undesirable sour and acidic flavor notes evaporate leaving the strong but pleasant HERSHEY'S chocolate flavor.

Refining the chocolate’s taste and texture

Tempering allows the chocolate to stay firm to the touch, but melt smoothly in your mouth. To achieve this effect, Hershey slowly heats the chocolate to a specific temperature with consistent stirring.

The chocolate mixture is poured into molds

After the tempering process the chocolate is poured into vibrating chocolate bar molds—ensuring air bubbles are removed and the chocolate is evenly distributed before it goes into the cooling tunnel.

Simple Joy

After cooling, the chocolate is packaged and shipped—ready to be enjoyed by chocolate lovers everywhere.

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