Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hanover in York County, PA: The Factory Tour Capital of the World

This is my tenth post about our adventure traveling through Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the other educational US travel our family has done here

Because I blog about educational travel, I received free admission tickets, discounts, media rates, and other benefits for some of the hotels and attractions we visited throughout the trip. Many attractions we toured are free to everyone. I paid full price for the rest. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I whole-heartedly recommend. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it is because I didn't love a particular hotel, attraction, or restaurant enough to recommend it to you, regardless of how much I paid or didn't pay.

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Hanover, Pennsylvania


Any place that names themselves The Factory Tour Capital of the World gets my attention. I LOVE factory tours. We managed to squeeze in three factory tours and a delicious lunch in Hanover on our way to our final destination of the trip.

First stop, Snyder's of Hanover. We buy their pretzels regularly and, until we took the tour, had no idea how many other brands we enjoy are under the Snyder's umbrella. They had a neat display of all their brands, but we weren't allowed to take pictures anywhere, including in the gift shop. Frustrating. Anyway, it was a good tour and we learned a lot. We were part of a big group and the tour was very structured. We asked a lot of questions and couldn't stump our guide!


Our next tour was at Revonah Pretzels. We hadn't heard of Revonah (Hanover spelled backwards, if you didn't notice) until I started doing research for this trip, but they appeared on American Baking Competition and got some great national publicity two years ago. Their factory is quite unassuming.


Our tour at Revonah couldn't have been more different than our tour at Snyder's. It's a small operation with pretzels made by hand. The tour, which was outstanding, consisted of the owner showing our family around as he explained the whole process. 

  
  

As he talked about Revonah, he gave us pretzels to try at various stages of production. They were some of the best pretzels I've ever had. And, as I'm sure you guessed, the smell inside the factory was heavenly. 


There was no way we were leaving without buying some pretzels for the road. These warm pretzel sticks were fantastic. 


We also bought a bag of broken pretzels. After making their beautiful pretzels, they set aside some to sell whole. They literally use a hammer to break the rest into small pieces. It seemed like a crime against pretzels, but when we opened our bag and snacked on the chunks, we realized the genius of breaking them. They were easier to eat, as they didn't shatter when we bit into them) and they didn't generate crumbs. 


If you look carefully, you can see a menu board on the far right of the photo above that lists all the varieties of pretzels sold at Revonah. They include: Classic, Xtra Dark, Xtra Salt, Light Salt, Jalapeño, Roasted Garlic, Crab, Pumpernickel & Onion, and Whole Wheat & Honey. I was surprised to hear that the Xtra Darks are their biggest seller! We stuck with Classic. 


Our third and final factory tour of the day was at Utz. We had never had their chips or snacks because, according to both the tour representative and the website, they aren't sold in California. However, we saw them at our local Costco this week. Weird! But a welcome surprise.


The Utz Potato Chip Trip (as they call their self-guided tour) includes interesting displays about the history of Utz. But the highlight is a long observation gallery where you can view chips being made from beginning to end. At each step, there is a button to push to hear the audio that goes along with what you're hearing. I loved that they had ramps in front of many of the windows to give kids a better view. (That's Trevor next to Steve. He's wearing Steve's rain jacket, even though it was raining outdoors, not indoors.) 


We spent quite awhile watching potato chips being made. And then workers shut down one of the lines to troubleshoot, so we watched that too. 


The Utz girl's name is Salie, but I like the Steve version also. 


It was lunchtime when we finished our third tour, and we'd heard The Famous Hot Weiner was the place to go. 


The three of us split a Famous Hot Weiner Special, which was just the right amount of food for people who'd spent the morning sampling pretzels and chips. It was delicious. 


Next (and final) city on our epic trip: Baltimore!

1 comment:

  1. How fun would those be to visit!?!?!? We have a huge Snyder's factory here too! I wonder if they do tours? Will have to check and see!!!

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