Monday, 27 February 2017

Fazer Visitor Centre – a visit to chocolate company!

As it was my birthday last week, we celebrated on weekend, and on Saturday my DH and daughter took me to Fazer visitor centre. Fazer is the most well-known chocolate manufacturer in Finland, but the company also makes other sweets, cookies, bread, muesli etc. and has bakeries and cafés in various cities and towns. They opened a new visitor centre just last autumn, and since then, I’ve been looking forward to a visit there!

We’d booked a guided tour, which lasted for about an hour. It started in a small tropical garden where we were shown cocoa trees with cocoa fruit and other tropical plants. On a cold winter day, the warm, humid garden was a particularly lovely spot.

The tour itself didn’t focus much on chocolate making or history of chocolate but rather on Fazer as a company; their history, products etc. The exhibition featured, among other things, a giant bunny made of egg shells:

Old confectionary equipment:

And a great number of old wrappings, boxes and other containers for sweets. These were very beautiful and truly charming!

There were interactive parts in the tour; you could, e.g., smell ingredients used in sweets (cocoa mass, cocoa powder, liquorice powder, spices...) and visit Fazer factories wearing VR headsets.

And of course, visitors were invited to sample some of the products: individually wrapped pieces of chocolate as well as chocolate and liquorice bars. A "chocolate tree":

Although it is every chocoholic’s dream to devour unlimited amounts of chocolate, I was careful and only sampled a bit – we were going to an Indian restaurant afterwards, and it would have been a shame to spoil my appetite! Still, I did get a bite of all my favourites as well as a chance to taste something new, such as these Dumle lime chocolates, which are chocolate covered lime flavoured soft, chewy caramels. I was a little suspicious about the lime thing, but these are actually delicious!

After the tour, visitors were given goodie bags containing some new or limited edition products... and there is a shop in the premises where we bought a big bag full of treats. For the most part, the selection did not differ from what you find in supermarkets and grocery stores, but there were some novelties we haven’t yet spotted anywhere else, such as these chocolate eggs. They are like our favourite chocolate eggs, Mignons: solid almond nougat eggs in real egg shells (and one of Fazer’s oldest products still in the market). These, however, are slightly larger than the normal Mignons and come in brown egg shells. Aren’t they beautiful? These would make a perfect little Easter/spring time gift!

In addition, there is a café where you can sample some of Fazer’s cafeteria products. The cakes looked utterly delicious! Since we had other plans, we didn’t indulge in these treats – but immediately decided to make another visit one day...