Chocolate Museum

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Entry Fee : Free
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Many of us love chocolates and know many types of chocolates. This museum brings us all the way back to the time when cacao was first domesticated! This is a small museum and there are no artifacts on display, other than a cacao processing machine and various types cacao beans. It was all the about the historical write-up about how chocolates came to be how it is today. There was also a chocolate selling shop inside the museum.

Front view of the Chocolate Museum

First view after entrance
The first section in the museum was a write-up on Cocoa History and Journey. It is believed to have started in the Olmec civilisation around 600 BC, which is the earliest known civilisation in modern day Mexico. They were the first to domesticate cacao tree and use the beans. After that, in the Mayan civilisation, burial tombs had been found that contain offerings including ancient potteries that indicate the importance of cacao. The potteries were covered with paintings showing Mayan Gods fighting over cacao beans and kings waiting to be served cacao-based beverage. The later civilisation, the Aztecs, consumed cacao in liquid form, cold and foamy. The foam was believed to contain the essence of cacao. The ritual of creating the foam can be seen in Aztec artworks. In the 16th century, Spanish colonialist, Hernan Cortes, who realised cacao's commercial value, brought the beans back to Spain, from where the culture of drinking chocolate spread across Europe.

Section about cocoa history and journey  

The next section was a write-up on the chocolate drinking culture in Europe. In Spain, chocolaterias or chocolate cafes quickly sprang up all over the country, where people visit in the afternoon to drink a cup of foaming fragrant brew accompanied by fried bread. Meanwhile, the Dutch were the first to plant cacao trees in their South East Asian colonies, Java and Sumatra. Italy, France and Switzerland also had their own stories on how chocolate became part their culture.

In the early days, chocolate contained a fatty substance known as cacao butter which tended to rise to the top where it would float as unappetising greasy pool. In 1828, a Dutch chemist named Coenraad Johanes van Houten patented an hydraulic machine that is able to extract a large portion of the cacao butter in the liquid. This would leave behind a brittle, cake-like residue that could then be pulverised into what we know today as the cocoa powder.

The New World section explains how chocolate drinking culture spread across Europe

Various civilisation used chocolate as medicine, as described in the following photo of the write-up.

How chocolates were used as medicine

The next section in this museum were write-ups about the chocolate fathers. Here, we can read about the founders of famous chocolate brands, such as Lindt, Nestle and Toblerone.

Write-up about "The Chocolate Fathers"

Finally, the last section was about cacao tree cultivation and types. In this section, cacao growth and cultivation processes from flowering to harvesting and up to drying are explained.

Types of cacao beans on display

Chocolate selling shop


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