18 November 2011

Breaking and winnowing

Often times, when visiting the Main Street Confectionery, guests find it very difficult to raise their eyes above the level of the sweets stacked upon the shelves or even to make eye contact as they are ordering from the refrigerated case. Yet, there is something to be said, as I often say, for looking up, down, and all around.

In the case of looking up, there is a mechanical system that has been rigged up to ferry the Confectionery’s goods around the shop. While it does not run as often as it once did, it does tell you that the shop’s owner is mechanically inclined and imaginative. Considering the shop is a turn-of-the-century model, this would be quite an accomplishment for a shop proprietor. As would be the two other contraptions that have been scaled down and displayed along the back wall of the shop.
TOASTINGInspired by the newfangled ironworks we saw in Chicago, I cooked up this oven to roast my cocoa beans to perfection.BREAKING AND WINNOWINGThis device, of my own invention, cracks open the cocoa beans and blows away the husks, leaving only the tasty chocolate insides.

While it would have been a decade removed, one would assume the Chicago mentioned is a reference to the World’s Columbian Exposition held in 1893. Also known as The Chicago World’s Fair, held in a 600 acre space that was a town unto itself, would have left a lasting impression on anyone who took in the sights and wonders of the exposition.

History lesson aside, and believe me I’d love to talk more about the Columbian Exposition, we’re talking chocolate here. The next time you’re in the Main Street Confectionery be sure to take a look at these windmill powered shuckers and cast iron cocoa roasters, that is once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth!

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