By Garrett Simmons
Ever wonder how chocolate is made?
Just how, exactly, does someone take cocoa beans and turn that into a delicious treat?
Last Friday, residents in the County of Warner got answers to those very important questions, thanks to Rebekah Moedt, the owner of Eleventeen Bean to Bar.
Moedt ran a Family and Community Support Services General Interest Course (GIC) for county residents, as locals had an opportunity to learn all about the process.
“What I do is I make chocolate from cocoa beans from Ecuador,” said Moedt. “In the class, I brought in dark chocolate and white chocolate that I made, so people could mix it and create their own.”
The Making Milk Chocolate in Milk River class was a huge hit, according to FCSS Outreach Services Supervisor Kaitlynn Weaver.
“Based on how quickly folks filled up the class, I think it was something that was very popular,” she said. “I think having it in their community, being able to participate with their friends and not have to go to Lethbridge, it was really nice.”
Amateur chocolate makers will have three more opportunities to learn about the craft, as Moedt is hosting Father’s Day themed courses (Dad’s Like Chocolate Too) on June 9 in Warner and June 16 in Stirling.
Moedt explained the bean-to-bar concept creates a simple three-ingredient chocolate, much different than store-bought candy. The type of chocolate she creates is only available locally in Calgary, Fernie and through her Lethbridge-based business.
“They were very surprised to learn about how chocolate is made and where it is made,” said Moedt, who added participants were extremely engaged throughout the class. “They were a fun bunch. They were like sponges and asked a ton of really good questions.”
Of course, chocolate making is just one of the course offerings FCSS has on tap for County of Warner residents, who have the opportunity to learn about painting, making wire rings, mixed-media art and hammered brass and copper earrings, to name just a few.
“It’s an opportunity for residents to learn some new skills and some old skills and connect with other folks in their area,” said Weaver of the GIC initiative. “We’re connecting with really cool instructors.”
Partnerships with communities throughout the county allow FCSS to host the courses in convenient, local venues, to help instructors share their knowledge with people eager to learn something new.
“We’re really grateful that instructors like Rebekah are interested in helping out and trying something new with us,” said Weaver. “We’re really lucky to have good relationships with the municipalities that are hosting the courses.”
More information on Eleventeen Bear to Bar can be found here: ELEVENTEEN.