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Monday, April 17, 2017

The "A Huge Chocolate Hare" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Standing in the rear workshop at Miesse's Candies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania talking to Tracy who is the owner of one of Lancaster's oldest candy stores.  A little over two years ago my wife Carol and I made a visit to the downtown candy store and factory to visit and sample some of their famous candies.  At the time I wrote a two-part story telling of the history of the candy maker and how they produce their chocolate candies.  
The two-part mold that will eventually
be a 42", 32 pound chocolate rabbit.
While taking a tour of the factory, we saw an extremely large plastic mold that was used to create their biggest chocolate rabbit.  Shortly after, I saw one of the bunnies in their satellite store which is about a five-minute walk from my home.  The bunny stood 42" high, weighed 32 pounds and sold for over $500.  Well, today I talked my granddaughter Camille into visiting the downtown store with so I could take a photo of the mold and the resulting chocolate rabbit so that I could share one of the largest pieces of chocolate with you.  Tracy remembered me from my past trip and ushered Camille and me to the back workshop to view the large mold and one of the rabbits that had just hatched from the mold.  The mold has two parts to it which are each held in a plywood form.  Liquid chocolate is poured in one half of the mold, filling it.  
A recently poured chocolate rabbit.
Notice the excess chocolate where
the two halves were joined.  Click
on the image to enlarge it.
Then the other half of the mold is placed on top of it and bolts are used to tighten the two halves together.  Two workers slowly rotate the mold so the chocolate can enter the other side of the mold, making sure that the chocolate has fully covered the other half and there are no air pockets.  Then, every 15 minutes they flip the mold back over again to allow even coverage of the chocolate.  This procedure is completed every 15 minutes for two hours.  After that time the rabbit is allowed to fully harden overnight and then removed from the mold.  At that point they must scrap the excess chocolate from the area where the mold has been joined together.  Decorating and wrapping in plastic follow.  Tracy said they usually sell one of these 32 pound giants every year with one recently finding a home in a nearby town.  Tracy and her husband Bob recently named their latest 32 pound chocolate creation after their first grandchild, Brigham who is 2 years old.  Wonder how many 2 year olds might weigh as much as the chocolate Brigham.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  



Bunny Brigham for sale in Miesse's Candy Store.

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