History of cacao and chocolate
The journey begins in around 10,000 – 15,000 Years BCE - the origin of the tree Theobroma cacao in, all likelihood, the Amazon Rainforest. Today is time of the essence to save these trees, these diamonds of cacao, because they’re vanishing day-by-day. And with them, botanical treasures could be lost forever unless protected.
In 790 CE – Bonampak (Mayan for ‘Painted Wall’) Chiapas, Mexico a fresco of cacao bundle containing 40,000 beans as tribute to the king on the Bonampak Mural.
image via: c-spot.com/atlas/historical-timeline
The era of the Olmecs and Maya, who were the first to make a chocolate beverage. Money Grown on Trees as cacao beans circulate as a form of currency during Mayan & Mexícâ (Aztec) era. Chocolate drinks – the champagne of the empire – mixed with extracts, the paramount one being that other great American botanical – vanilla – in concert with two others which composed the ‘Floral Triumvirate’– as well as chili, achiote, maize, & ceiba; ritualized use in blood sacrifices; girded warriors for battle.
If you are real fun of chocolate history you can read more about A CONCISE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE in timeline approach.
There is around 50 Chocolate Museums worldwide, we suggest to visit one of them once you are on Holiday.
These are designed as a veritable palace of discoveries, consists of various thematic areas and activities:
I shortly describe you 5 very different place here, however have to mention all the Chocolate Museums are unique and offers wide range of cultural experience.
The links to all musems are listed end of this writing.
Top left: Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey is in Pennsylvania, US, amidst rolling farm country is the corporate headquarters and tour area for the chocolate brand. They offer plenty of attractions like free chocolate tour ride that covers the basics of chocolate-making (with free chocolate samples at the end). If you’re in the mood for a little entertainment, you can go to Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show. They also have a new attraction where guests can create their own candy bar. Adjacent to Chocolate World is the highly-acclaimed Hersheypark, an amusement park equally well-suited for little ones and dare-devils. Morover they have global locations on Time Square, Chicago, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai.
Top center: Shiroi Kobito Park in Sapporo, Japan. It is a fantastic space based on the ideals of deliciousness, fun and stories of sweetness from a bygone era. In addition to housing the Shiroi Kobito Factory where this well known Hokkaido confectionery is produced, the park also has a café to allow visitors to savor Ishiya’s original sweets, the Cookiecraft Studio (where budding confectioners can try they hand at making their own Shiroi Kobito cookies), a toy exhibition room and the Rose Garden. They offer special experience with Chocolate up collection, Candy Labo, Aurora Fountain, Sapporo Mechanical Clock Tower, Gramophone Gallery, and Shiroi Kobito Railway.
Top right: Csokoládé Múzeum in Budapest, Hungary. The Museum is housed in old Hunting Castle in middle of a possession, called by many a Chocolate Palace. You may find here centuries-old chocolate maker and shopkeeper tools and wrapping materials. The visitors will make their own chocolate and relax with a cup of hot choclate while they watch a contemporary movie in cinema museum. You can choose from different type of tours like praline tour, royal tour, Deli’Do extra program.
Bottom left: Shokoland in Caslano, Switzerland. The Alprose chocolate museum presents the world of chocolate from the beginning to the present day. In addition to an account of the history and origins of chocolate, particularly of Swiss chocolate, there is a special highlight: visitors see the various stages in making chocolate – live. They watch the production of the liquid mass, moulding and finally packaging. And of course there is an opportunity to taste the product at the end.
Bottom rigth: Red October Chocolate Factory in Moscow, Russia. The Red October Chocolate Factory (originally the mid-19th century German-founded Einem factory until nationalized after 1917) is perhaps most identifiable for its ‘Alyonka’ chocolate bar and ‘Mishka’ adored with three bear cubs. The large and modern factory museum displays a diverse collection of photographs, confectionary boxes, and memorabilia, beginning with the Tsar-bedecked glamour of the 1800s, the revolutionary fervour post-1917, through World War II with colours of the ‘Coalition’ Soviet, American and British forces. During World War II, the factories produced supplies for the Red Army, including signal flares and military rations. A 3-D film of chocolate’s history caps the tour, after which visitors are given boxes of elegant chocolates.
They talk about how chocolate is made, the equipment required, where the beans come from and about the cacao plant itself.
The Chocolate tools....
Besides presenting history and production line, the museums demonstrate rich variation of chocolate wrappes (papers and boxes) as well.
images via: Chocolatewrappers.info
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