Freia sjokolade fabrikken….mmmmm Posted by kari on Dec 9, 2008 in Uncategorized
As an American student in Oslo, I had the pleasure of touring a chocolate factory-‘Freia Sjokolade Fabrikken.’ For some reason, I was put in charge of navigating the way to the factory. There were about 15 of us in the group and I was appointed the navigator, which is hilarious because I am really terrible with directions. After a long, cold, and winding walk from the center of the city, we finally arrived at our destination, tired, hungry, and salivating for sjokolade. I personally have never been a huge sjokolade fan. I like it when it’s mixed with something else, such as peanuts (peanøtter), caramel (karamel), or is (ice cream), but usually I don’t like just plain sjokolade. However, on this day, at this time, with lots of friends on a cold winter day after a long hike, I was ready for all the sjokolade that I saw before me. The deal was that we each paid something like $15 for the tour and for MYE (a lot of) sjokolade.
We were there for a couple of hours. We had a really great, charasmatic guide who gave us more information aobut the sjokolade-making process than we ever wanted to know. She literally walked us through the whole process and we got to watch people doing every part of it. It was actually kind of gross to watch how it was made. Huge vats of melted butter and giant containers of sugar. And to be eating it the whole time….in every single room we entered the guide would come around and give us several samples of a new kind of sjokolade-dozens of kinds in all. There was godteri (candy) comparable to our kit-kats (Kvikklunsj-literally quick lunch), Daim (similar to our choclate toffee), etc. There were also kinds that none of us had tried before, or had tried, but thought little of, such as marzipan (which is apparently really popular in Norway) or raisin/nut filled sjokolade.
I’ll give you a little history lesson about Freia. It is actually an American-owned Norwegian sjokolade brand that was founded in 1889. The Throne-Holst family, who took over management in 1892 and made it successful, started an additional factory, Marabou, outside of Stockholm, Sweden. The Freia name couldn’t be used because of Sweden’s trademark policies, so the Marabou stork was used as the name and as the logo imprinted in each piece of sjokolade.
Now I have to tell a little story about this stork. Of course Norwegian children love to eat Freia sjokolade, but there have been many instances in which they realize that the logo in the sjokolade is a bird and so they don’t want to eat it anymore. I worked for the Concordia Language Villages Pre-K program teaching 3-5 year olds Norwegian and one of the little native Norwegian boys started crying because he thought that he killed the stork because he ate a piece of sjokolade. It was quite cute.
In 1993 Kraft foods bought Freia. It is still the most popular sjokolade brand in Norway. It is truly delicious. So delicious that we all ate so much we almost vomitted after we left.
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