Back in 1851, Karol Wedel, founded the Wedel Chocolate company in Eastern Europe. His son Emil then apprenticed in several other chocolate businesses mostly in Western Europe and after several years, came home and inherited his father’s shop in Poland.. Emil’s son Jan was next to own the business and was known as the “Willy Wonka” of pre-war Poland. The picture below is of that original Warsaw shop and no, I didn’t take this picture. I got it from Wikipedia.
During the war, the Wedel Company continued making chocolate, but they also produced bread for those starving in the war-ravaged country. They were of German ancestry, but did not buy into Hitler’s propaganda.
But eventually the war caught up to them … and the Wedel chocolate factory was destroyed. Afterwards, Jan once again built his business, but the Communists took it over, nationalized it and changed the name. No longer could they export the candy. People had learned to look for the Wedel logo … not some other brand. The Communists decided to go back to the original name, but the damage had been done. Finally in 1989, the company was again privatized.
Anyhow, combining work with fun. I recently wrote a multi-cultural workshop for fall conferences and suggested the trainers buy candy bars made in another country for prizes. I wanted to see how easily they could find the candy and whether it would be cost effective. In the process, I could try a new food.
I went to a grocery store specializing in foods from all over and found the candy aisle. For some reason the brand name Wedel jumped out at me. (My name has mistakenly been spelled that way at times.) I read the back about how the candy comes from Poland, etc. and decided this would be my experiment.
I bought the milk chocolate/hazelnut bar for 99 cents which I thought was a decent price (doable for the workshop). And was on my way … though not before the tiny, elderly Indian lady at the door asked me if I “loved Jesus.” I assured her I did and was rewarded with a big smile.
This morning I ate a piece and let’s just say it was delicious.
But then I thought – I have a food tasting crew on my property today. (Putting in new windows.) So, I took some out to them and asked them what they thought. They all loved it … and said they could eat the entire bar IMMEDIATELY. I handed it over.
Here they are testing the chocolate from Poland. I think I need to give it a 10 out of 10.