This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Sweetest Place

Today we drove to the sweetest place this side of Heaven.  Hershey, PA and Hershey’s Chocolate World.  The place is huge.  The first thing you notice when arriving is the long outdoor covered walkway where tour buses unload their passengers.  There is even an amusement park (Hershey Park) next door.

We went on the Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour Ride.  It’s not a tour of the “real” factory, but a simulated factory tour “ride” that reminded me of Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride.  You ride in these little open cars, which follow the cocoa beans on their journey from the tropical rain forest to the Hershey factory.  There are singing cows and stuff like that to entertain the kids while you learn how chocolate is made.  At the end of the ride you emerge into a huge gift shop (more like a gift mall) where you can buy Hershey chocolate products and all sorts of trinkets and trash stamped with the Hershey name. 

Did you know that Hershey’s Kisses have been on the market for 106 years?  Did you know that they make 80 million of them per day?  One of their biggest competitors is Mars and its M&M candies.  Do you know what the initials M&M stand for?  They stand for Mars and Murrie.  Shortly before WWII, Bruce Murrie, the son of a long-term president of Hershey’s, struck a deal with Forrest Mars to create the candy that would be called M&M’s. 

Something else you may not have known.  In 2008, several Hershey chocolate products were reformulated to replace cocoa butter with vegetable oil to reduce production costs.  Because the FDA’s legal definition of chocolate does not allow hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, or milk substitutes to be used in a product called “chocolate,” Hershey relabeled several products from stating they were “milk chocolate” and “made with chocolate” to “chocolate candy” and “chocolaty.”  Next time you eat some chocolate check the ingredients.  Is it really milk chocolate?

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