See’s Candies: Peek Inside a California Classic

The historic candymaker is ready for its biggest, chewiest, gooiest season yet.

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See's Candies
How many See's Butterscotch Squares have you devoured in a single sitting? Multiply that number by a bunch and you'll have just a fraction of what travels along the length of the conveyor belts in the massive Enrobing Room inside the factory on La Cienega Boulevard. How long is the trip on one such "enrober"? It's a bit of a jaw-dropper: Think the length of a football field.
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See's Candies
How many See's Butterscotch Squares have you devoured in a single sitting? Multiply that number by a bunch and you'll have just a fraction of what travels along the length of the conveyor belts in the massive Enrobing Room inside the factory on La Cienega Boulevard. How long is the trip on one such "enrober"? It's a bit of a jaw-dropper: Think the length of a football field.
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See's Candies
The Enrobing Room lives up to its luscious name: It's where oodles of Milk Buttercreams, Peanut Butter Patties, and Butterscotch Squares, pictured, receive their chocolate-y outer layer.
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See's Candies
As for the ingredients found without your favorite chews, truffles, and nougats? See's doesn't simply run by the grocery story to pick up an XL bag of sugar each day; rather, a host of specialty sugars, from powdered sugar to golden sugar to honey to molasses, are at the heart of each piece of candy.
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See's Candies
One interesting element of the See's enrobing process? The candies pass through a metal detector, just to make sure not bits or bobs from the machinery has landed inside something chewy.
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See's Candies
The flattening of the famous Peanut Brittle? It's not the final step in the brittle-making process, but an important one. Brittle is such a major part of the See's Candies slate that a sizable room inside the factory is devoted to it.
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See's Candies
Nuts are at the nutty center of many of See's products, including its Peanut Brittle. A neighbor to the factory's brittle hub? The busy center for all things Bridgemix, including a posted ingredient list that is followed devoutly. Can you name the 10 elements in the See's traditional Bridgemix? Count 'em off: milk chocolate almonds, milk chocolate butterscotch, milk chocolate California brittle, milk chocolate molasses chips, milk chocolate pecans, milk chocolate chocolate butter caramel, dark chocolate butterchew, dark chocolate coconut, dark chocolate nougat, and dark chocolate raisins. So yes, brittle buffs: You can go bridgemix and still get your brittle fix.
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See's Candies
Is a single bag of Peanut Brittle just yours and yours alone? Or do you share with your nearest and dearest after finding one in your stocking on Christmas morn? Take heart, either way: Each one is hand-weighed to make sure what the amount on the outside says is correct. Some bags might even be slightly over the stated weight, but never, ever under.
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Alysia Gray Painter
Making sure what's on the package and what's inside match up is an important part of what the company does. You're expecting two almonds inside your Almond Royal? Two almonds you'll have, for sure.
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Alysia Gray Painter
And the Victoria Toffee is cut just so, too, to make sure each piece remains consistent.
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Alysia Gray Painter
While some devices focus solely on a specific sweet, there are a number of powerful machines behind some of See's best-known bonbons that pull double, triple, or even quintuple duty. This machine plays a role in fashioning Peanut Brittle Bars, Toffee-ettes, California Brittle, Walnut Square Bars, and Victoria Toffee.
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See's Candies
Wheee! Peanut Brittle goes down a slide as part of its in-factory journey. What tales could that box of candy, the one you're purchasing for your mom or boss or yourself, tell this holiday season? Whatever journey your brittle or Scotchmallow or butterchew has made, it likely paid a visit to the Enrobing Room, or a brittle-cool slide, or another essential part of the See's Candies factory. And definitely arrives with California cred, too. We're a few years out from the centennial celebrations, which leads one to wonder this: How many more truffles and brittle pieces will be eaten before See's Candies turns 100? Correct guess: Somewhere between a choc-a-billion and caramel-lillion.
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