From kings to kids, rainforests to candy wrappers, experience the global journey of everyone’s favorite sweet treat.


It hasn’t always been widely available. It hasn’t even always been sweet. Chocolate: The Exhibition tracks the rich history of the cacao bean, from its beginning as a royal — even divine — Maya drink to its current role as a romantic gesture, guilty pleasure and global commodity. Follow the history of chocolate culture and science from the 10th century rainforest to the modern-day corner store.

Few food items are both so historically and gastronomically rich. Please note how links inside paragraphs need to be given an underline. You can use "link-in-paragraph" under Formats to do so. Vivid environments and imagery, over a hundred exhibited objects and the tantalizing scent of chocolate await to tell this treat’s amazing history.

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Learn about the tree’s unusual anatomy and the different products that can be drawn from a single cacao bean (what’s the difference between cocoa and cacao anyway?).

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Learn how Mayas built religious and royal ceremonies around a frothy, bitter drink made from ground cacao seeds.

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Bartering precious cacao seeds for goods. Learn the legend of the Aztec god Quetzacoatl, who was thrown out of paradise as punishment for sharing the knowledge of the cacao tree with mortals.