Chocolate Factory Visit at Vetusta Nursia
It is always been my childhood dream to visit a chocolate factory. The appeal is obvious: eat as much chocolate as I can. Little did I know that the dream will finally come true during our summer trip in Italy. Small town of Norcia in Umbria is famous for its cured meats and wild boar. However, it is also home to Vetusta Nursia chocolate factory.
Great news is that anyone can book a visit and see how the real chocolate is made, or even have a go at making their own chocolate bar. Let’s see what did we get up to on our visit.
Firstly, we put our protective gear on, which included the apron, the hat and the mask, due to Covid regulations.
Then we talked about the ingredients used for the production of chocolate. I loved the fact that majority of chocolate is made using only 4 ingredients: cocoa butter, cocoa paste, milk and sugar. No E-numbers, no preservatives , no strange things.
All ingredients are melted and constantly kept at 36C flowing, ready to be poured into a chocolate bar form. Letitia was excited to have a go and I could see her eyes twinkling when she saw the liquid chocolate flowing from the tap. It does not get better than that!
Next step is to pour melted chocolate into a form and add such ingredients as dried fruit or nuts. The form is then weighted on the scale to ensure that all chocolate bars have accurate weight.
Afterwards, the form with liquid chocolate is placed on a vibrating tray to get rid of the air bubbles.
The last step is to place the form on the small conveyer belt, which goes into a cooling tunnel, where a bar of chocolate needs approximately 30 mins to get solid. Afterwards you can pack and decorate the bar the way you like.
Vetusta Nursia Chocolate Factory has different options for your chocolate experience. You can come and see how things are done and then purchase samples in the shop. You can sign up for Picnic workshop, where you will have an opportunity to make your own chocolate bar, try a chocolate sandwich in the café and also select 2 bars of chocolate in the shop. I thought this was a fantastic way to spend time together as a family along with learning new skills. You can select the experience you like and book it HERE
If you do not have any kids there are other packages available where you can try the chocolate alongside the local wines or local produce.
Factory shop is a delight. I have to say it has been a while when I saw so much variety produced at the same place. The choice or chocolate bars and chocolate themed products is mesmerizing, you can easily spend an hour looking at everything and selecting presents to take home.
The factory also supports local community and it is good to know that you will contribute to the local business, considering the fact that the area is still recovering from a devastating earthquake, which demolished the centre of Norcia in 2016.
The factory is still family owned and run by Arianna. She has taken over from her father , who established the factory in 80s when he came back from Rome. She learned everything from her father and now supports the local community providing employment and sweets treats for the young and the old. Vetusta Nursia chocolate factory gives you an opportunity to experience a slow pace of life in Umbria and see how much care is taken when producing the local delicacy.
Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted by Vetusta Nursia, but all opinions are my own.