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Chocolate: The Exhibition Opens Oct. 11

PHILADELPHIA, May 28, 2014

Immerse yourself in a sumptuous world of chocolate and discover the captivating scientific and cultural history of one of the world’s favorite treats in Chocolate: The Exhibition, opening this fall at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Chocolate traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin as a unique tropical rainforest tree, 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. On view from Oct. 11 through Jan. 24, 2015, Chocolate is presented in both English and Spanish. There is a $5 fee in addition to regular admission for visitors who are not Academy members.

Chocolate is a sweet, interactive experience that engages all the senses and reveals facets of chocolate most people never thought about before, according to Director of Exhibits Jennifer Sontchi.

Chocolate brings to life the rich history and wide impact the treat has had across the globe,” said Sontchi. “It’s a pleasure to take time out to appreciate how the good things in life, such as chocolate, came about and how they have evolved over time and across cultures.”

Museum guests will explore the plant, the products, the history, and the culture of chocolate through the lenses of botany and ecology, anthropology and economics, conservation and popular culture. Activities include:

  • Bartering cacao seeds for goods in an Aztec market.
  • Manipulating a conveyor belt to learn about the steps in producing chocolate.
  • Watching the prices of cocoa, coffee and sugar rise and fall on a giant stock ticker that simulates a futures exchange.
  • Following a cacao harvest on a Mexican plantation and its preparation for market.

Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. 6ABC is the Academy’s media partner.


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Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043