Took my mom on a chocolate tour here for her Mother's Day gift and although the tour may have been a bit rocky at times, we still ended up learning a lot and enjoying some great chocolate!
Tschudin is a tiny chocolate shop in downtown Middletown with an even tinier kitchen. I wasn't sure how the seven of us on the tour were going to fit back there with the chef and his two assistants, but we managed! The chef showed us the process of creating a piece of his chocolate creations from start to finish--from tempering the chocolate to putting it in the molds to getting the filler to just the right temperature. Chef then had us helping in the kitchen, learning to dip pretzels and frozen mousse bars. We then got a tasting of different chocolates from around the world to get a feel for what we might really like to indulge in. This had to be my favorite part of the tour, as now I have a few names of chocolate brands that are just exquisite! To top off the tour, we were each given a small box and we got to fill it with any of the chocolates available in the case. Tschudin had some very creative options, such as earl grey infused and chipotle spiced.
At this point, three hours had gone by--what a tour! We were all told we could stay as long as we liked and the chef was more than willing to answer any questions we had. Overall, we had a nice afternoon and enjoyed the educational experience. The only off-putting moment we had was how the chef spoke to his assistants, who were culinary students--having worked in the restaurant business, I understand it is part of the culture, but to those who don't (like the members of our tour group) it made for a few uncomfortable looks (the chef at one point did address the way he was speaking to them, clarifying that it was so the students would learn). The two of us left with a whole new respect for chocolatiers--who knew it was so time consuming and intensive? I am looking forward to stopping by in the future with the hubby so he can pick out a few chocolates for himself and so we can enjoy those frozen mousse bars I helped to make!