PORTLAND, Ore — “Rod on The Job” got a sweet assignment and went behind the scenes at one of Portland’s tastiest chocolate companies, Moonstruck Chocolate. Sitting near the east base of the St. Johns Bridge, the chocolate factory location is picturesque. I'm told the building is the site of one of Columbia Sportwear’s first manufacturing facilities.
Inside, hundreds of different types of chocolates are hand crafted. My first stop is the food lab, where small batches of chocolate are tested for exact flavor by who I call the chocolate engineer, Megan. Using a food processor, Megan shows me how to make a small batch of ganache. This will eventually serve as the filling for my own truffle creation.
Of course, in order to make the perfect chocolate I had to taste along the way. A small spoon was provided but I could have been more efficient with a large straw!
Next stop, is the main chocolate floor and filling the candy molds from a large vat of white chocolate. The process is a little bumpy at first, but with the pursuit of perfection on my mind I find my footing. Becoming a chocolatier takes more precision than my hands are accustomed to. I am very impressed with the old fashioned handmade ritual of Moonstruck Chocolate.
Before I go I walk the floor and meet the packaging ladies who have the final task of getting the treats ready for shipment. This too, is a delicate task, one by one they pack each candy with great care. Unfortunately the chocolates I made don't pass quality control and I have to "dispose" of them myself.
I leave with a full stomach and a bit of a sugar rush. Megan and the folks at Moonstruck Chocolate showed me that chocolatiering is as much an art as it is a science.
Just another day of "Rod on the Job!"