Full House

Take a field trip to an artisanal epicenter

Few things are better than chocolate, and while we're partial to just about all forms of cacao, Taza makes one of our favorite incarnations.

Taza processes its chocolate from bean to bar using organic ingredients and a stone-grinding method that imparts a unique, crunchy texture starkly different from its smooth European counterparts.

Just outside of Boston, you can visit Taza's sparkling factory and see the vintage roasters and stone grinders at work before stopping at the company store to stock up on the final product.

But as if the chocolate alone weren't enough of a draw, the Taza factory houses another artisanal producer: Lourdes Smith, cheesemaker and proprietress of Fiore di Nonno. Here, Smith makes her handcrafted burrata, mozzarella and mascarpone using the same Italian techniques she learned from her grandfather when she was a child (Fiore di Nonno means "my grandfather's flower").

With so much flavor concentrated under one roof, locals line up early to take tours during the factory's Saturday open houses (visits on other days are by appointment only). But if your craving can't wait, you can find chocolate from Taza and Fiore di Nonno cheese at area farmers' markets and gourmet shops.

Taza Chocolate, 561 Windsor St., Somerville, MA; 617-623-0804 or tazachocolate.com