Just desserts

By on October 11, 2017

Thousands fill downtown for chocolate pilgrimage; Maplehofe Dairy wins milk contest

Chocolate milk is chocolate milk. Right?

Not necessarily. At Saturday’s 16th annual Lititz Chocolate Walk, four local dairies vied for the honor of being able to boast the best chocolate milk as voted on by participating chocolate walkers. The judging took place at the Warwick Community Ambulance Association building on North Lane.

The four competitors were Oregon Dairy and Pine View Dairy in Lancaster, Kreider Farms in Manheim, and Maplehofe Dairy in Quarryville. By mid-afternoon, Maplehofe was in the lead, and as the Lititz Chocolate Walk melted into the warm October sunset Maplehofe had indeed taken the top prize for its rich, chocolatey milk that’s rumored to come from chocolate cows.

Owned and operated by the Glick family since 1974, the small Lancaster County dairy still sells milk in glass bottles and is famous for its chocolate milk. Pine View received the second most votes, followed by Kreider and Oregon.

“I really like the flavor of this,” said Anna Logan, who traveled from Bethlehem for her fourth Chocolate Walk, referring to Maplehofe’s milk. “But they are all really, really good.”

The popular chocolate-themed event, which was sold out, is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of the Lititz Area, with co-hosts Wilbur Chocolate, Blue Ridge Communications, Luther Acres, and Best of Lancaster County. This year’s walk enjoyed perfect weather, though unseasonably warm for a mid-October day. No jackets were required, or umbrellas, as were needed last year.

Chocolate walkers came ready and able to carry their treats as they made the rounds to 33 stops throughout downtown Lititz.

“It’s a little hot, but my container is working out quite well,” said Diana Cooney, who came to town with her parents Joan and Dave Teller of Hershey.

Yes, that’s right. The Tellers came to Lititz from Hershey to get a taste of local chocolate. Of course, 33 samples is a bit overwhelming for one afternoon, so an easy-to-tote container to take some home is essential for serious chocolate walkers.

Cooney fashioned her carrying case from a crafting box. All 99 treats fit perfectly and everyone was asking her where she got her clever contraption.

“I told her she should go into business and sell them online,” said her mother with a smile. “There are too many good things to eat all at once.”

Those 33 goodies included chocolate mice made from Wilbur Buds with almond ears and cherry stem tails, miniature chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing, chocolate mousse cups, chocolate almond bark, French macaroons, chocolate peanut brittle, Mexican hot chocolate, chocolate caramel popcorn, salted caramel chocolates, chocolate ice cream, triple chocolate brownies, chocolate caramels, mini cupcakes with espresso icing, chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate mallow cones, chocolate balsamic over ice cream, mint chocolate candies and chocolate whoopie pies.

At Cherry Acres, Scooter’s was back with their gooey grilled chocolate sandwiches. Dawn Quinn, owner of the local restaurant, explained that the secret to the rich chocolatey filling is a mix of Wilbur’s dark, milk and white chocolate melting chips. She and chef Tim Whitmyer used a firm sourdough bread that will not fall apart when it’s grilled, and the bread is dipped in a French toast batter.

Each of the 33 locations had guest chefs presenting their chocolate creations. Walkers purchased tickets for $37.50 and started their day at the Lititz Welcome Center (train station). This year’s event was so popular it sold out weeks in advance.

Proceeds from the Lititz Chocolate Walk go to a variety of children’s charities such as the Schreiber Pediatric Center, the children’s collections at the Lititz and Manheim Township public libraries, and the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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