Calling all chocolate lovers

By Staff Writer
September 4, 2003

Courtesy of the american Museum of Natural History

Let the aroma make your mouth water. The allure of the sweet dark substance will surely make you weak. Bring a strong vanilla fanatic with you to control splurging at the gift store.

“Chocolate, the Exhibition” is being displayed at the American Museum of Natural History. “Chocolate” is a bilingual, kid-friendly and informative display of how chocolate is grown and cultivated, the role it plays in economies, and its’ impact on diets, holidays, and relationships.

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean that was initially found and grown in Mexico which quickly flourished in other lands of Mesoamerica. The Mayans and Aztecs considered cacao beans valuable items, so much that they were used as currency. They were also used as gifts of tribute to the gods and leaders of the empires.

It was later discovered that the cacao bean could be made into a frothy chocolate drink. When the Spaniards came to the New World and brought the cacao to Europe, it was discovered that the frothy chocolate drink was much better than the bitter morning coffee that they were accustomed to. Chocolate soon became the drink of the wealthy.

Another interesting fact about chocolate that some may know is that it contains the chemical called phenylethlyamine, the same substance created by the human brain when experiencing love.

For the economic majors out there, you’re not left out. Real-time tickers showing the prices of cocoa, coffee, and sugar around the world are displayed for your knowledge.

Museum-hopping was fun and the exhibit was interesting to learn from. But m for someone who isn’t a chocolate fanatic, they may not experience that sugar rush that others might have. Student admission is $14, and it’s best to go on the weekends that they have free chocolate-tasting sessions, where you can get your money’s worth.

If you are interested, check for more details. The exhibit will run until Sept. 7.

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