Chocolate ! Chocolate! We are going to Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science to learn about chocolate. I, Zeb the Duck am ready. Let’s go mom. We enter the exhibit, which is included with a general admission ticket or our museum membership card.
Chocolate comes from a tree. The seedpods of the cacao tree.
Those are pretty big seedpods.
Chocolate comes from the 30-50 seeds in each pod. One pods provides enough chocolate for about 7 milk chocolate bars. Animals eat the pulp while the tough husk protects the seeds. Animals help create new cacao trees. They eat the sweeter pulp, while throwing the seeds on the ground. Many seeds will create new trees. The Mayans loved the chocolate and often grew cacao trees near their homes. It was easy to go in their yards to get chocolate seeds. The Mayans enjoyed chocolate as a frothy drink.
The cacao seeds were fermented, dried and roasted. These seeds were then crushed into paste and mixed with water. Other ingredients such as cornmeal, honey, and chili peppers were added. The beverage was then poured back and forth between two cups to make the beverage frothy. Enjoyed by rich and poor, chocolate was a particular favorite of Maya Kings and priests.
Chocolate was widely traded and was used as money by Aztecs. In 1606, this was the World of Chocolate.
Chocolate was introduced to Europe where sugar was added to the beverage.
Europeans also invented the chocolate stirrer, to more easily create froth on top of the beverage.
Having and serving chocolate soon became a status symbol for the wealthy, requiring special serving cups and utensils.
In 1847 the first chocolate bar was made.
The chocolate bar led to a new chocolate item–molded chocolate.
Later, in 1875, chocolate maker Daniel Peter teamed with Henri Nestle to produce milk chocolate. Soon chocolate symbolized romance.
Today chocolate is a global commodity, with much coming from Africa.
Near the exit, and entrance, to this exhibit we enjoyed the Chocolate Shop.
Enstrom’s Candies from Colorado is a sponsor of this exhibit. We loved this case.
Mom said I had to pick just one. Don’t wait too long to visit Chocolate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The exhibit is here only until May 8, 2016.