Did I ever tell you about the chocolate tree?
In his superior, I’m 10 now voice: Duh! chocolate is made from cacao beans grown on trees.
Okay, smarty. Do you know the history of Ghirardelli?
Our class went on a tour of the factory. Saw the entire process from cacao trees to the wrapping of samples at the end of the visit.
Ha, the real source, the chocolate tree, is a carefully hidden secret. In the morning, the sap is milk chocolate, in the afternoon semi-sweet, and in the evening dark chocolate.
Domingo Ghirardelli came out west for the gold rush, but found the chocolate tree instead.
Okay, so why doesn’t anyone know about the tree? How do you hide it in San Leandro? That’s company headquarters.
Easy. All employees sworn to secrecy, and if they leave the company, warned of the possibilities of what might happen to them and their families if any info got out about the tree.
He laughed at the image of men in chef hats and whites harassing a family. The comfy chair and a side of chocolate I suppose, he said through gasps of giggles.
Ah, Ghirardelli’s sons were tinkers and inventors. They discovered a way of throwing electricity between special relays. The result. Invisibility. The ancient tree was hidden from prying and spying eyes.
He gave me a I’m not that gullible look! Chocolate-sap trees. Employees sworn to secrecy. A cloaking device.
After he went upstairs, I noticed his drawings were still on the table. Mixed in with dragons, dinosaurs, were drawings of trees labeled chocolate. Sap collection techniques. Blueprints for potential invisibility machines. So he was still gullible.
I could image him tomorrow with a bar of chocolate in one hand, and a map in the other, looking for San Leandro. I knew he would want a road trip very soon.