My last trip to Ferrara in Italy was full of events and one of the unexpected attractions was a short visit in a chocolate factory Offelleria Rizzati. I got invited to see the process of chocolate production, however, I hope to visit this place again as I didn’t have enough time to get the details, take good photos and-OK let’s go public- to eat enough chocolate!
Although short this was a fascinating visit. I am generally curious of how particular things are being made, especially if its about food. Rizzati is a family business and their production has started about 10 years ago. They import cocoa beans from: Equador, St. Domingo, Peru, and Madagascar. The cocoa seeds are cultivated and harvested 2-3 times a year depending on the weather conditions. This is the reason of diversification of the seeds’ origins. Some years are very generous while some others modest and as the factory needs to run all year round they need to secure the import.
The main focus of this company is to make the chocolate produced of high quality. They have a strong preference towards techniques and productions process that takes more time than usually employed in huge factories. Moreover, they offer some products of their own recipe, like tenerina without flour or creams of consistency similar to Nutella but prepared of crushed nuts and sugar solely.
I felt really strange trying particular types of chocolate like you normally do in a vinery or something. I have never thought that the proportion of the cocoa beans or the process of crushing and melting it can change the final taste. One of the chocolates prepared of more than 80% of cocoa left a sensational small pieces of cocoa in my mouth, similar to the grains of sand. I also ate the cream made of pistacchio and it was one of the sweetest thing I have ever eaten.
The company also produces candied fruits. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go into details but of what I heard the main characteristics of their fruits is related to long process of frying and drying with huge amount of sugar. I hope to visit this place again pretty soon to give you some further details.