This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

There is something about a bar of chocolate that just brings a smile to a face!! Chocolate and a fresh glass of milk – what more could a gal want, right?

Many thanks to The Hershey Company for allowing our blog to experience the creamy goodness of ingredients like farm fresh milk, cocoa and cane sugar, all wrapped up into a delicious HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar – first hand! They invited us on a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to see how the HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar is made with familiar ingredients and no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners.

It all starts at the dairy farm with quality, fresh milk and absolutely adorable cows – it’s just goodness!! …And just what this chocolate lover needs!

Patty of The PKP Way traveled on behalf of our blog, and just YUM! The following is in her words:

While on the trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, I learned about the history of Milton Hershey and all that goes into supplying quality chocolate – and lots of it! Hershey is one of the biggest chocolate companies in the world! The key to HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate all begins at the farm – with the farm fresh milk and some of the prettiest dairy cows in America.

We got to tour just a few of the barns that the 17,000 cows – who provide the milk for HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate – call home. We went to Meadow Lane Dairy, one of the sources of the fresh milk, located less than 30 miles away from the Hershey Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In fact, all of the milk used in HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate comes from within 100 miles of the factory.

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The Hershey Company has been sourcing farm fresh milk for HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate for more than 100 years and is committed to using simple and familiar ingredients. Unsweetened chocolate and cocoa butter from cocoa beans, cane sugar, farm fresh milk, lecithin (a little bit of moisture in the fat in chocolate can ruin the nice creamy texture of the HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar, so lecithin keeps the tiny amount of remaining moisture in HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate away from the cocoa butter and milk fat and thus gives HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate the creamy texture you expect!), and natural vanilla flavor (to enhance the chocolate flavor) are all that go into a HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar.

Meadow Lane Dairy Farm is a family-owned, 3rd generation dairy farm and is home to 550 cows. I was so excited to get to see the cows being milked (a first for this city girl)! In the parlor, up to 16 cows on each side can be milked at a time using an automated milking system. The milking cluster is manually attached to the udder and after about 5 minutes of milking time, the automatic take-off system detaches from the udders.hershey-behind-the-scenes-tour-17f

I was so impressed with the technology used in the milking process. The quantity of milk output and its composition is tracked and analyzed in real time. The milk is analyzed for fat, protein and lactose concentration. The results from each analysis provides an overview of the milk’s quality and is indicative of any health problems and nutritional deficits the cow may have.

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Prior to being delivered, the milk gets cooled down in milk tanks. The farm fresh milk is brought directly from dairy farms within 100 miles to the Hershey Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Good chocolate always starts with quality ingredients. Love it! Many thanks to The Hershey Company for sponsoring this blog and giving us the opportunity to experience the farm to table experience with our favorite HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar!

If you want to learn more about the farm fresh milk and other simple ingredients that go into HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate, be sure to visit www.FreshMilkChocolate.com.

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