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Bishop Museum welcomes 'Chocolate'

by Rose McKenney, editor

The Chocolate Exhibition, a national tour developed by The Field Museum in Chicago, opened Oct. 18 at the Castle Memorial Building at Bishop Museum and will run through Jan. 4, 2004.

There are a variety of chocolates around the world including truffles, caramels, bonbons, hot cocoa, and chocolate cakes. Also, different countries have developed different styles and tastes of chocolate, historically.

The Chocolate Exhibition displays the history, cultures, and industry of chocolates, and it provide interactive programs including tasting, cooking, and baking.

Kathy Izon, of the Exhibits department at Bishop Museum, said: “Everyone loves chocolate, yes? And so we decided to bring in a wonderful, sweet exhibit called Chocolate.”

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. The exhibit will explore the human connection with chocolate including the roots of the cacao tree. The cacao tree introduces chocolate not only as botany, but as ecology, anthropology, economics, conservation and popular culture. The ancient Aztecs, for example, used the cacao seed as money in their marketplace. The Mayans served cacao seed as a spicy drink for royalty and for religious ceremonies.

The exhibition will trace such uses from the past to the present, as cacao farmers and scientists work today to sustain the delicate cacao tree, and it will show how chocolate became a global commodity.

“ Did you know that for 90 percent of chocolate’s history it was consumed as a drink?” Izon asked.  “Chocolate inspired artifacts on display will include pre-Columban ceramics and ritual objects as well as European cups and saucers made especially for drinking chocolate,” she added.

Izon explained that the Bishop Museum will also feature some of the Chocolate companies here in Hawai‘i, including Hawaiian Host, MenehuneMac, MacFarms, Island Princess, Honolulu Chocolate Company, Ed & Don’s, and Elvira Chocolate of Hawai‘i.

 

 

2003, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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