During our recent stay in St. Augustine, FL, we were provided with tickets to so many fun tours and attractions by the St. Augustine Visitors and Convention Bureau. I’m continuing our “Things to Do in Florida” series with one of our favorites, the Whetstone Chocolate Tasting Tour in St. Augustine, FL.
Not many people know this, but when I was in college, I worked in a chocolate factory. It was probably one of the most challenging jobs ever. Not because it was hard work, but because it was hard to contain myself from eating everything. The smell was not only amazing, but it stayed with you throughout the day. We were taught to make truffles, molded chocolates and all kinds of delicious treats. The bosses had just a few rules:
- If you break it, you eat it.
- You must lick the chocolate off of your hands before washing them thoroughly with soap and water.
- You must help yourself to any chocolates in the back room while you’re working.
It was a hard job, but someone had to do it.
When I found out that there was a chocolate tasting tour in St. Augustine, I knew that we HAD to go. St. Augustine’s “Original Chocolate Tour” is led by Whetstone Chocolatiers. You will be introduced to the history and making of chocolate and the Whetstone story. A 4-tiered tasting distinguishes the characteristics of their dark, milk and white chocolate, cocoa nibs and more. Taste freshly made chocolates and confections while you walk through the factory. This tour is for the chocoholic with a discriminating palate searching for the subtleties that define artisan chocolates.
The tour starts off at the very beginning and takes you through exactly how chocolate is made. Our tour was led by a gentleman who was not only funny, but so knowledgable. He had no trouble answering my kids questions, as over the top and crazy as they were. Before you walk into the actually factory, you are asked to wear these fashionable hair nets. I couldn’t help but notice how cute Falynn looked in hers. I may or may not have taken a few too many pictures of her in it.
One thing we didn’t have at our factory were these cool machines. That’s probably because the owner of Whetstone Chocolates was actually an engineer. He designed and built machines especially for his factory. So while we were spending our days pouring chocolate into molds and banging out the air bubbles, Whetstone’s Chocolate factory can do so much more with a machine that knows exactly how much chocolate to fill and then another machine that wraps the chocolates in these pretty foil wrappers.
On this particular day, they were working on key lime chocolates and we were lucky enough to get to try one. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of fruity chocolates for some reason. I love chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered apples but key lime wasn’t something I had ever tried before. It was actually really good. I even considered buying a bag when we were leaving.
So once you’re done with the tour, you are escorted out through their store. By that time, you’ve tasted each of their chocolates (white, milk, and different types of dark) and have a pretty good idea of which one(s) you loved the most. Since each adult ticket to the chocolate tasting tour includes a $2 coupon towards any purchase, we had some coupons to use. Everyone that knows me, knows that I love a good deal. Who could pass that up?! We each wound up getting one package of our favorite thing and may or may not have finished it all by the time we got home, 5 hours later.
Oh and if you’re not a huge chocolate eater, you may enjoy their liqueur sauces which include chocolate amaretto wine, chocolate cabernet, butterscotch scotch and dark chocolate espresso. And there’s even a little tasting bar if you aren’t sure which one you’d like the best. They also have hot cocoa mix and other fun gift options!
The Whetstone Chocolate Tasting Tour was definitely a decadently delicious experience! If you aren’t heading to St. Augustine any time soon, don’t worry. You can shop online and they will ship directly to you! If you are heading to St. Augustine, make sure to stay at the TRYP by Wyndham.
Have you ever been to a chocolate factory? Comment below and share your experience!