NEW JERSEY: $1M Powerball ticket set to expire
Prosecutors: Beheading Suspect Should Have Been Jailed Longer

Chocolate: The Exhibition Opens Oct. 11


PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A unique tropical tree. A seed so

A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Taken on the Big Island (Hawaii) in the botanical gardens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

precious it was used as money. A spicy drink and a sweet snack. A multi-billion-dollar worldwide business. Indulge in the sumptuous world of chocolate starting Saturday, Oct. 11, when Chocolate: The Exhibition, presented by Mars Chocolate North America, opens 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 rain forest plant, to the Maya who made it into a spicy ceremonial drink, 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 is a sweet experience that engages all the senses and reveals facets of chocolate most people have never thought about before.


On view through Jan. 24, 2015, Chocolate is presented in both Spanish and English. There is a $5 fee to enter the exhibit in addition to regular museum admission. 

Visitors to Chocolate: The Exhibition 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. Visitors can:

  • Stand beneath a cacao tree in a lush rain forest replica and examine cacao seed pods up close. 
  • Engage with animated modern-day machinery that turns cacao from seed to sweet, solid bar. 
  • Follow a cacao harvest on a Mexican plantation and cacao's preparation for market. 
  • Barter cacao seeds for goods in an Aztec market and learn about Quetzalcoatl, the god who brought the sacred source of chocolate to the Aztec. 
  • Admire beautiful porcelain and silver chocolate services from Europe.

"Chocolate: The Exhibition will change the way you enjoy chocolate," said Director of Exhibits Jennifer Sontchi. "The fun of the exhibit is that afterwards, every bite of chocolate you taste is richer for what you learned about it here."

Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors will share chocolate's rich journey through time in hands-on chocolate demonstrations and American Heritage Chocolate® drink tastings throughout the course of the exhibit. Hot chocolate bars, a beer and chocolate tasting, and other engaging activities are planned. For more information, visit

Museum hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

SOURCE Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University