On a factory floor in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, a machine squirts elegant swirls of rich brown chocolate into molds and the tray clatters down the production line. Caramel filling is piped in before it zooms onward for a topping of chocolate, then it is whisked off the conveyor belt by deft, white-gloved hands and stacked atop a towering pile of trays of finished chocolates awaiting packaging.
This is the Rakhat factory, where some of Kazakhstan’s best-loved chocolate is made – and far more besides. Colored jelly candies chug along another production line, waiting for a dusting of sugar before being spewed out into metal trays in a psychedelic blur. An automatic hotplate flicks out waffles at a dazzling speed, while another machine wraps candies with a flash of shiny paper.
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Text by Joanna Lillis, a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia. Photos by David Trilling, EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.