Zaanse Schans is an iconic village of the Netherlands where you can contemplate Dutch windmills. Not many people know that windmills of the Zaan region used to process many different products brought from Amsterdam. One of the products processed by few windmills in the hay days were cacao beans. Unfortunately, throughout the time many windmills, including cacao mills, disappeared due to the neglect and lack of effectiveness compared to the modern factory. However, the cacao industry is still prevalent in the Zaan region. Every day cacao beans, brought from Amsterdam port, are roasted at the cacao factory Olam (former De Zaan) and the chocolate smells dominates the area .Hence, the history and location the area of Zaanse Schans is perfect place for a chocolate experience.
The experience will include several parts. Not only you will learn everything about cacao beans and where they grow and how they get to the Netherlands, but also you will be able to make your own chocolate. One of the parts of the experience will include visiting some local businesses and taste some of their delicious chocolate produce. The other part will be visiting an authentic Dutch windmill of Zaanse Schans and learning the basics of its work.
Chocolate making workshop
The highlight of the chocolate experience is definitely the chocolate making workshop. The chocolate making workshop will be provided in a former old warehouse. Kids from 9 years old are welcome to join it. The friendly staff will share with you the history of the cacao starting from the process of cacao fermentation and eventually becoming cacao powder. You will first crush whole cacao beans in a old press and continue with crushing the beans with a stone mortar. After the beans reached a required consistency you will use a warm plate to start creating a desired type of chocolate. After the workshop is completed you will get a sample of the chocolate as a souvenir. Then, you will be able to sample any type of chocolate you see in the store.
Price: from 75 euros per person (min 2 max 4 people)
Included in a price: comfortable drive from Amsterdam| private guide | chocolate making workshop