We tried to squeeze in a bit more fun before Lydia's summer of wonder came to an end. We'd had a tour of the Bissinger's chocolate factory on our list and decided it was time to cross it off.
Bissinger's is a St. Louis company but it has roots in France. The story is a little convoluted but the Bissinger family has been in the business over 350 years and was granted the title of Confiseur Imperial (Confectioner of the Empire) by King Louis XIV. Now I think a member of that family came to the US and set up his own shop, and they say they use some of the original recipes, but a lot of it is probably marketing.
The factory building was a cool old rail depot that has recently been refurbished.
We got to put on ridiculous getups to see the factory floor. Bissinger's makes lots of high end fancy stuff with crazy ingredients like ghost peppers and bacon salt. I really like their chocolate covered wine grapes. I learned that they partially dehydrate the grape and then rehydrate it with wine to get it extra winey.
At one point they were talking to us about cacao beans and the others were impressed but Lydia and I have cracked open one of those alien pod looking things and sucked the weird sweet pulp off of the beans in Dominica.
Back at the gift shop we got to try a few samples. Particularly awesome were these chocolate covered raspberries. There was another family on the tour but I think maybe the tastes were too complicated for the kids? Lydia and I ate about $50 worth of chocolate samples.