Dripping Chocolate
Cacao beans Chocolate stack

On Exhibit Through May 7

Raise your chocolate IQ and discover the complete story behind the tasty treat we crave in our newest temporary exhibition, Chocolate.

Brain Candy

  • In the weeks before Valentine's Day, US consumers will buy nearly 58 million pounds of chocolate. Learn more about this and other chocolate facts in Gastropod's latest podcast, We Heart Chocolate.

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  • The scientific name of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods." The cacao pods grow not on the branches but directly on the trunk.

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  • A cacao pod is about the size of a pineapple and holds thirty to fifty seeds. It takes 4 cacao seeds to make 1 ounce of milk chocolate, and 12 seeds to make 1 ounce of dark chocolate.

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  • Cacao seeds contain significant amounts of naturally occurring flavonoids; flavonoids are connected with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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  • Cacao seeds are not sweet. They contain relatively small amounts of two stimulants also found in coffee – caffeine and theobromine – which give them a bitter taste.

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  • Although we tend to think of chocolate as a solid today, for 90% of its history it was consumed in liquid form. Some of the earliest European cocoa-makers were apothecaries seeking medicinal uses of the plant.

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  • Americans consume an average of 12 pounds of chocolate per person per year, totalling $13.1 billion spent annually.

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Upcoming Events

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