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
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.