"Sweet, A Walking Tour of West Chester PA" was the billing for this Chester County History Center tour today. The History Center, founded in 1893, sponsored this talk led by guides in period costumes.
We started out with an explanation of the types of cacao pods, then a demonstration of the beans being ground on a stone metate with a heat source underneath. Looked like a lot of work!
We then visited one of the country's top chocolatiers, Eclat, on South High Street. Christopher Curtin, the owner, gave us samples of a truffle (delish!) and a piece of dark chocolate (wow!). A steady stream of clients pulling up and picking up orders showed just how popular this chocolate is.
Another stop was Gemelli Artisinal Gelato, on West Market Street. The owner, Vincenzo (genuine Italian craftsman) told us about his all natural products and handed out samples. He even gave me a special non-dairy vegetarian gelato with chocolate and hand ground nuts (very tasty).
We heard stories about the 15 or so candy shops that once thrived c. 1900 in the center of West Chester, including 2 women owned businesses that conducted a one-upsmanship contest with one another. You have a veranda? I have a veranda, and not only that but an orchestra every Friday night. Take that!
We also had a chance to stop in front of a lovely walled garden with wisteria vines, and one of the oldest buildings in town, which was next door.
Needless to say, I did not stop for lunch after this sweetfest. Well done, West Chester!