On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog







popcorn Easter bunny

Huge chocolate santa - mold in background



Looks can be deceiving

In 1968, Jim Cerreta moved from Canton, Ohio and opened a chocolate candy factory in Glendale, Arizona. I spent the day touring the factory and exploring the "old town" section of Glendale.

The cocoa beans used in the special recipe chocolate for Cerreta's candy come from Belize. The beans are shipped to the Guittard Chocolate Company in San Francisco where they are dried for six years ( two years longer than Hershey's and lots of other chocolate companies) before they are roasted and ground. Cerreta's recipe also calls for 10% less sugar than their competitors.

Cerreta's candy is unique in that it incorporates lots of Arizona themes such as : prickly pear, saguaro blossom, and jumpin' cholla cactus chews, jalapeno peanut brittle and hand dipped chocolate jalapeno peppers - I think I'll stick with strawberries. They use local ingredients when possible - Shamrock dairy butter and milk and pecans grown in Green Valley ( south of Tucson). The tour lasted 30 minutes , it was free, and we were given a choice of samples. After the tour it was time to walk around the retail shop and marvel at the amazing amount of candy choices.

I had read about an authentic Neapolitan pizza place in "old town" Glendale . I decided to have a late lunch there. When the pizza came to the table I was drooling but looks can be deceiving. The cheese, tomato, and basil were fresh and tasty but the dough was undercooked and the crust was flavorless. Very disappointing. The Neapolitans would have been disappointed too!

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