In less than 48 hours, Ben and I will have, in our hands, a key piece of equipment necessary for making chocolate. As we have been working on getting this company off to a good start, both of us realized that this chocolate melanger was the linchpin to the entire operation – without it, there would be no Potomac Chocolate Co.
When making chocolate, a melanger is typically used to grind small chunks of roasted cocoa beans called nibs, down into a thick liquid known as chocolate liquor. But, it can do a lot more, too, including refining the chocolate to get a smooth mouthfeel, and conching which further refines the taste.
Needless to say, since this equipment is key to chocolate success, it also costs a pretty penny, which had Ben and I searching high and low for alternative options.
About 4 weeks ago, Ben jubilantly informed me that he had found our long sought after machine for an incredible discount as it was listed on Craig’s list (bless you Craig’s list!); however, there was a catch: this machine was physically located in Scranton, PA, about a 5 hour drive from our homes in Woodbridge. Regardless of the distance, Ben contacted the owner, who seemed a little skittish in shipping it down to us and she only wanted us to pick it up. Unfortunately, it took four weeks of e-mail exchanges, plenty of exasperated conversations between Ben and I, and trying to work with a schedule that would make a truck driver cry, to finally arrive where we are today: a plan to get the melanger!
So here we are, we’ve finally agreed on a time and place to meet: Scranton, PA at 8:00 AM, which means Ben and I will be leaving at approximately 2:30 AM Saturday morning to pick it up. I know, trust me…I know. But what can I say? It looks like sleep is one of the first sacrifices we will be offering to the chocolate gods….