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Chocolate Programs for Opening Weekend and Beyond

PHILADELPHIA, September 24, 2014

Chocolate: The Exhibition opens Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University with a variety of fun activities, a Mexican mole  tasting and special crafts in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Chocolate: The Exhibition, presented by Mars Chocolate North America and on view through Jan. 24, traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin as a unique tropical rain forest plant, to the Aztecs who used cacao seeds as currency, to the Spanish who added sugar and transformed the bitter drink of kings, to the sensuous sweet millions of people crave today. Chocolate brings to life the rich history and wide impact the treat has had across the globe.

Visit the Academy’s calendar at for frequent updates on upcoming programs and activities related to the exhibit. Here’s what’s in store:

Chocolate: The Exhibition Opening Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11–12, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of Chocolate: The Exhibition with a weekend of activities about the delicious science behind America’s favorite treat. Discover how chocolate gets from the tree to the table and learn about the amazing animals and plants that make the sweet possible. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by making crafts in the Hispanic arts tradition. Chocolate has deep roots in the Mayan and Aztec cultures, a theme that is explored in the exhibit itself.

In addition, the following activities are free with regular museum admission and take place both Saturday and Sunday, unless otherwise noted.

  • Taste Mexican mole—a popular  sauce made of hot chilies and rich chocolate—prepared by 12th Street Catering and learn how it is used in cooking and other Hispanic traditions. Saturday only from noon to 2 p.m. 
  • Enjoy live animal shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The shows also will be presented in Spanish on Saturday only at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Examine chocolate cake under a microscope.
  • Use your sense of smell to detect the differences between chocolate and other common foods.
  • Dissect a flower, peel back the layers of fruit, and look at plant cells under a microscope.
  • Savor a sample of chocolate.
  • Listen to a story featuring a live animal in Outside In at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Sustainable Chocolate Day

Sunday, Nov. 2, Noon–2 p.m.

Join in the fun on Sustainable Chocolate Day by receiving a box of tasty treats you can dip one by one into a variety of melted chocolates provided by the Academy’s caterer, 12th Street Catering. Learn how to recycle leftover Halloween chocolate into fondue and find out more about the different types of chocolate . $8 per person in addition to regular museum admission.


Hot Chocolate Bar

Friday–Sunday, Nov. 28–30, and Saturday–Tuesday, Dec. 27–30, Noon–2 p.m.

During Dinosaur Days in November and All-Star Days in December, you can warm up your insides with the ultimate hot chocolate beverage. The Academy’s caterer, 12th Street Catering, will offer a variety of flavors, plus 20 toppings. Participants will learn how cocoa is made and “dutched,” the role of cocoa butter in the flavor, and they’ll receive a tasting guide and flavor map. Fee: $6.95 in addition to regular museum admission.

One Last “Shot” of Chocolate

Beer and Chocolate Tasting

Thursday, January 15, 7–9 p.m.

Enjoy one last “shot” of chocolate before Chocolate: The Exhibition closes. Pairing beer with chocolate is the trend, and this reception offers a sweet to savory menu of foods with just the right kind of beer to go with them. A beer expert will discuss the intense connection between beer and chocolate, and chefs from 12th Street Catering, the Academy’s catering partner, will impart tips on cooking and baking with different varieties of chocolate and cocoa. Chocolate tasting includes bitter to intense and single-origin chocolate and cocoa powder through responsibly sourced cocoa. Must be 21 or older. Fee: $35. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1. For more information and to register, visit

There is a $5 fee to enter Chocolate: The Exhibition in addition to regular museum admission. Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This exhibition was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Chocolate is presented by Mars Chocolate North America. 6ABC is the Academy’s media partner.

chocolate sponsors 

About American Heritage Chocolate


In 2003, Mars, Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions and was published in 2009 by Wiley. Out of this research project, the American Heritage Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods...chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. American Heritage Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 130 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada. For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit our website at Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate at, on Twitter @Choc_History and NOW on


For the full press kit of Chocolate information, visit

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Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043