Cook Like A Dad: My Hershey trip in July, part of a series

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Dad’s want every-day, Kid-Friendly, family recipes that are easy to learn and make at home. Our Dad Cooking Blogger, Cook Like A Dad is all about helping Dads make healthy, quick and simple meals for their families at home. This month, I share with you my educational and fun filled trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Cook Like A Dad: My Hershey trip in July, part of a series

Dad’s want every-day, Kid-Friendly, family recipes that are
easy to learn and make at home. Our Dad Cooking Blogger, Cook Like A Dad is all
about helping Dads make healthy, quick and simple meals for their families at home.
This month, I share with you my educational and fun filled trip to Hershey Pennsylvania.

Cook Like A Dad: My Hershey trip in July, part of a series

This past
summer, I was invited to visit Hershey Pennsylvania as a Dad Cooking Blogger to
explore the rich history, experience the company culture and learn about the
ingredients and practices behind
Hershey products. Join CookLikeADad and his food journey through the famous
chocolate landmark.

Hershey Pennsylvania,
The town the resort

Hershey Park Sign

As a kid, I
grew up in Southern California and stayed on the western side of the United
States. I only knew Hershey as a chocolate bar and had no idea of the history
of Mr. Hershey, the town, the culture and the company that he founded. The
following is a summary of my recent trip as a paid Food Ambassador.

The Town: Hershey
Pennsylvania

Hershey, Pennsylvania,
is a little town nestled between the rolling hills of dairy farms and corn
fields. It was the middle of July on my visit and I have never seen corn stalks
so high; over 8 feet and still growing… The summer heat and daily rains make
the weather ideal for corn as well as sweating through your clothes.

As you drive
closer into the town of Hershey, you begin to feel like you are in a "time
warp" of late 50’s early 60′ s Americana architecture . Streets are busy,
narrow, and lined with street lamps that are in the shape of "Hershey Kisses".
The summertime traffic in Hershey was mixed between out-of-town travelers
attending weekend, youth sport tournament and destination travel to Hershey
Amusement Park. My senses were
awakened by the soft and faint scents of chocolate and the variety of other
ingredients that make up the Hershey products such as vanilla and caramel.

The Hershey Lodge

Hershey Xmas Tree

There are
two main hotels in the area and I stayed at the Hershey Lodge. At the time of
my visit, the Lodge was filled with many East Coast Families visiting for a lacrosse
tournament that was extended into a long, family weekend adventure to the
neighboring amusement park. From New Jersey to New Hampshire, I socialized with
a variety of friendly families humored by my West Coast "accent."

One of the
more memorable moments during my stay at the lodge was discovering a huge
"Christmas Tree" in the Main Lobby. Apparently, the hotel was sponsoring a
special celebration of Christmas in July promotion and I was greeted with some
special Hershey treats and took a photo in front of the tree decorated with Kit
Kat bars and other Hershey candy products.

My Visit to Hershey:
Chocolate Lab

Hershey Lab

During my
two-day stay, one of the many highlights was the hands-on interaction with
chocolate. The Hershey Company provided facility tours that gave both education
and application with their product. Each experience, I was greeted by a group
of experienced and specialized professionals that shared a combination of
science, nutrition and the process of making their product.

The Chocolate Lab

I learned
about the variety of flavors that the Cocoa Bean can create depending on the
location that the beans are harvested. One of the presentations was called the
"Chocolate Lab" where a group of food bloggers were given a sensory test on the
different varieties of chocolate flavors that are found from South America to
West Africa. The best way I can explain this experience is to share some of the
words I learned to describe what my tongue, brain, and nose were actively in
concert sensing and registering.

Words like:
"Buttery caramel, woodsy pepper, vanilla and leather…" were just a few ways to
explain the variety of flavor that chocolate offered my taste buds. This was a
great experience.

Milton Hershey: The Man behind the Chocolate

Mr. Hershey

After a full day experience learning the process of Hershey
products, the remainder of my stay was learning the rich history about the
founder, Milton Hershey. Like any businessman in the late 1890’s, Milton
Hershey had gone though a few tough times before he saw success, but it was his
perseverance and vision to his beliefs that made his legacy.

What I learned about Mr. Hershey during my visit were the
following:

-In the beginning, Mr. Hershey was a candy caramel maker, not
a chocolatier.

-A hard worker who spent years attempting to define his
business in different locations, (Pennsylvania – New York).

-Had business failures and relied on a close business
relationship to re-invest into his business and focus on Chocolate.

-Brought Chocolate to the masses when at the time it was only
known as a treat for the rich.

-Created a factory around the resources to make chocolate (dairy
farms)

-Created a
community and culture around his factory and provided for the social well-being
of his employees and their families.

In Summary

In summary, I learned quite a few interesting things about
Hershey during my visit. This is a small town with a big heart. The heart that
beats in this town comes from a founder who had the vision to serve his community
that served his company. That legacy lives on today. The people today behind
Hershey products are more aware of today’s consumer. They are more aware of
their labeling of ingredients to help the consumer make an informed decision
when it comes to allergies and ingredients used. Hershey also has a new focus
on sharing the "back stories" of the many resources they use on bringing their
products to our homes.

I am looking forward sharing my experience making recipes
using new Hershey products as well as pulling out some old, timeless
recipes.

Got Kids? Need a Recipe? No Problem

Ask Cook Like A Dad

If you have a
particular question regarding recipes, shopping tips, meal planning or
something you would like to share with our staff, please email us at : Rj@CookLikeADad.com and we will get back to you right away!

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”