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CocoaJava receives e-mail questions, which I happily research and answer for our readers. Here are some of the questions I've been asked along with my responses, in hopes that the information will help others who might have been wondering the same things. As new and interesting questions are dealt with, they will be added to this page.

Please note: If you are a student, I'll help point you in the right direction, but I will not do your homework assignment for you, okay? Students should also be sure to look through my Chocolate History Links for more historical information.

Question: My young son has a peanut allergy and, because all commercially soldchocolate carries a nut warning, cannot eat chocolate. He loves hischocolate , so I would like to know how I can make something at home whichwill be safe for him to eat. Please, can you help??

Answer: Oh, my! What a challenge. So many commercial chocolates contain nuts and nut byproducts. But I believe that everyone deserves to be able to have achocolate treat, so let's see if we can make your son happy. The trick is to use unsweetened baking chocolate or cocoa - if you check the ingredients on the packaging, you should see only one listed - "chocolate". It's horrible to eat straight, but is fine for cooking, so you need to think in terms of always starting from basic unsweetened chocolate. I found this listing of recipes, some of them are for chocolate goodies! Look for the ones with a "P" in the code, that means that recipe is peanut-free.

Here are a couple of other sources I located if you wish to purchase nut-free chocolate rather than make your own.

Question: Please tell me the origin of German Chocolate cake. There is some confusion because coconut is not a product from Germany. Any information will be appreciated.

Answer: This is an excellent question, and might make the basis for a future article (with a recipe, of course!) I did a bit of poking around, and found that there's a good explanation at this German Culture site, in their article titled The Secrets Of German Chocolate Cake.

Question: Please help!!! I have been searching for a hot cocoa/chocolate maker for my fiancé since Christmas and I keep coming up empty. Do you have any ideas of where I can find one? I know that they are uncommon, but I also know that they are out there. I would really appreciate any help you could offer!!

Answer: I think I found what you need! The Mr. Coffee Cocomotion Hot Chocolate Maker. I buy a lot of stuff through Amazon.com so I checked there first, and while they do not have it in their regular inventory, I saw about three of them in the auction section, and about 5 more in their 'Z Shops', which are partner stores. Go to Amazon.com and enter Cocomotion Hot Chocolate Maker in the search box, and they should pop right up.

Question: Can you please tell me the name of the factory where Almond Joy, Milky Way, and Snickers are made?

Answer: Peter Paul Company (Almond Joy) are actually owned by Hershey's now, and I found this tidbit of information - "Hershey Foods is the number one domestic producer of chocolate and cocoa. There are manufacturing plants in Hershey, PA; Oakdale, CA and Stuarts Draft, VA. In addition, Hershey's includes the H.B. Reese Candy Company, Y&S Candies, Inc., Luden's, Peter Paul, and Leaf, Inc. The main factory in Hershey is the largest chocolate and cocoa processing plant in the world." Here is the main website for Hershey's. Milky Way and Snickers bars are both made by Mars. Inc. This is from their website (this is a complicated website and hard to dig through...) "M&M/MARS national headquarters are in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Hackettstown is located in a rural part of the Northwest section of New Jersey, just about 50 miles West of New York City. Hackettstown is just 20 miles from the Pennsylvania state border where many people enjoy kayaking and river rafting down the Delaware River as well as hiking in the local Poconos mountains. Manufacturing facilities are located in Hackettstown, NJ - Albany, GA - Burr Ridge and Chicago, IL - Cleveland, TN - Elizabethtown, PA , Henderson, NV - and Waco, TX." So you see, there are many factories that manufacture these candy bars!