Site Stats 2000

With yesterday’s 2000th post, I thought I would share some of the site’s stats with you, my dear reader.

  • I have been collecting labels since 1993, putting them into scrapbooks along with commentary about how good they were. My very first chocolate label can be seen here.
  • This site was started on January 28, 2012, over six years ago, to take those (now six) scrapbooks and digitize them, and then continue digitally from there.
  • I hit 1,000 posts in January 2015 and posted about it here.
  • As of yesterday (August 29, 2018), 2,000 posts have been made.
  • Over 2,570 photos of chocolate and labels have been posted, for a total size of just over 1 GB.
  • The site has over 68,330 views and over 1,062 comments.
  • The site averages 37 views per day, but on October 25, 2012, there were 953 views, most going to this page of horrible chocolate.
  • The most active day for comments was July 28, 2012, where five comments were made about this chocolate bar.
  • Most entries (1,522, over 76%) are about dark chocolate.
  • Despite my dislike for it, white chocolate has 54 entries (or 2.7% of the total).
  • I have tried 19 different 100% cacao bars. All of them were good, but this one was the best.
  • Most of the entries (950, or 47.6%) are about U.S. chocolate but Japan is #2 with 108 entries (or 5.4%).
  • I posted about my favorite chocolate here.

I hope you enjoy the next 1,000 posts! There is a lot more chocolate out there to try!

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A visit to the ChocXO chocolate factory

My friend Tiffany arranged a tour of the nearby ChocXO factory in Irvine yesterday, so Robert and I met her and a couple of friends there Saturday afternoon.

This was a serious tour, and we had to wear protective gear.

1 Dr Chocolate

We got to see how chocolate is made, from bean to bar. It all starts with a cacao tree.

2 Cacao Tree

This is a fake cacao tree, but it’s the right size and appearance, and those cacao pods are real. Of course, unprocessed pods are not edible…for most people. Nothing stops me from trying chocolate in all of its forms.

3 Eating Cacao

Just kidding. But we did drink the juice of the pod pulp, which is sweet and tangy and not unpleasant at all. But the pulp is left intact on most pods so that they ferment the beans, which are then dried, resulting in these cacao beans.

4 Cacao Nibs

We each cracked open a bean (it’s called “winnowing”) to extract and eat the nib inside. It tastes just like chocolate, unsweetened of course. If you have ever eaten unsweetened baking chocolate, a nib is like that.

We saw how nibs are ground in a conching device to make them smooth and silky, resulting in chocolate liquor, which we also tasted. Again, it was exactly like melted unsweetened chocolate. I liked it!

Finally, we saw how sugar is added to make chocolate flakes, which are sent through rollers to break up the sugar particles so the final chocolate is super smooth. We then tasted a 70% chocolate, both a single origin from Ecuador and a blend. Of course, I liked the single origin better, with its bright notes and distinct flavor, but the blend was good too.

As the tour progressed, we got to enter the actual factory floor, so we had to wear jackets and hair nets. They were going to give Robert and me “beard nets” too, but they couldn’t find them.

5 Dressed

Robert was VERY enthusiastic, as you can see.

I didn’t take a lot of photos inside the factory, but I did get a good photo of the separator machine, which accepted piles of fermented beans straight from burlap sacks and separated out twigs and rocks and anything else that might have been scooped up after the beans had been dried.

6 Seperator

You can see some beans on the bottom left, ready to be made into chocolate!

And of course, when the tour was over, they served us some samples, like these.

7 Treats

The top two were both caramels, while the bottom one was a lemon meringue truffle. They were all delicious.

I couldn’t leave without buying several dark chocolate bars, ranging from 68% to 80% cacao. I will be eating those this week, so expect reviews on this site soon.

Thanks for arranging this tour, Tiff!

Site Stats

With today’s 1000th post, I thought I would share some of the sites stats with you.

  • The site was started on January 28, 2012, almost three years ago.
  • As of today, 1000 posts have been made.
  • Over 1100 photos of chocolate and labels have been posted, for a total of 482 Mb.
  • I have been collecting labels since 1993. Of all of the years since then, 2010 was the most active, with 228 labels added that year. I blame chocolate eating meetings at work.
  • The site has over 22,000 views and over 300 comments.
  • The site averages 26 views per day, but on October 25, 2012, there were 953 views, most going to this page of horrible chocolate.
  • The most active day for comments was July 28, 2012, where five comments were made about this chocolate bar.
  • Most entries (over 73%) are about dark chocolate.
  • Despite my dislike for it, white chocolate has 24 entries.
  • Most of the entries (480) are about U.S. chocolate but Japan is #2 with 83 entries.

I hope you enjoy the next 1000 posts! There is a lot more chocolate out there to try!

Tim.

Last daily post

Today is the last daily post for my chocolate blog, because as of today, I have posted every label in my collection. From now on, posts to the blog will occur as I get new chocolate.

Some stats: I posted 906 entries with 1093 images, spanning 22 years and 56 countries. The most frequently appearing country was the United States with 427 entries, but Japan was second with 80 entries. The vast majority (675) of the entries were dark chocolate, but there were 17 white chocolate ones. And the year of the most chocolate? 2010, with 228 unique chocolates eaten.

Hershey Special Dark Cologne

Occasionally I like to post about chocolate-related products, even if they aren’t chocolate bars per se. So, of course, when I bought this product, I had to post it here.

HersheyCologne.jph

This cologne is amazing! It smells exactly like dark chocolate. It’s strong when you put it on, but it fades quickly until there is just a lingering scent, reminiscent of someone baking with chocolate. I think I have found my scent.

You can check out other scents at the Demeter home page (no this isn’t an ad, I just like the company). They have lots of cool colognes, like Brownie or Chocolate Chip Cookie, and not a single white chocolate fragrance in the bunch.

Chocolate Skulls

My co-worker Brian M. sent me a link to a place selling life-sized chocolate skulls! Apparently the sale is over in two days, so here’s a photo of one of the skulls.

ChocolateSkull

It looks realistic because it is made using a mold cast from a real human skull! Now, I like chocolate as much as the next addict…or maybe more…but this seems a little excessive. Wait, it costs $320?! It is excessive! And it’s not like you could keep it, since being chocolate, it’s going to bloom over time and eventually melt.

Still, part of me thinks this is really cool.