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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 30 June, 2008 12:17 PM

New Chocolate Exhibit is Now Open at the Henry Ford Museum

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The entrance to the new Chocolate exhibit at The Henry Ford Museum.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

WATCH: Highlights of the new Chocolate Exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum (6/28/08) MPEG Video

DEARBORN, Mich. -- I never knew there could be an exhibit about Chocolate. Well, there is and it's at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The traveling exhibit is making a stop in the Motor City this summer. It takes you through the entire process of making chocolate from how it's grown on seedpods on a tree to the end result when it ends up on your grocery store shelves. There is also a chocolate cafe and a gift shop at the end of the exhibit.

"Chocolate: The Exhibition" is on display at the Henry Ford Museum from now until September 7. It is included with museum admission. The exhibit was created by The Field Museum in Chicago. The Henry Ford Museum expanded the exhibit by adding a chocolate cafe and some memorabilia from its collection including items from local chocolatier Sanders.

"It's a really sweet exhibit," said Jeanine Miller, curator of domestic life at The Henry Ford. "It's an exhibit all about chocolate. From the beginnings when people in Central America discovered it and first began eating it up through its introduction to Europeans who added sugar to the chocolate and on to the present day where you learn about chocolate cultivation."

The exhibit is very huge and extensive. There is items from all the major chocolate brands including Hershey's, Nestle, Morley, Yoo-Hoo, Eskimo Pie, Milk Duds, Russell Stover, Dove, Baby Ruth, Reese's and Whitman's. Some of the memorabilia that you will see on display include boxes of chocolate, vintage advertisements, drink bottles, drink cups, recipe books, sundae dishes and cookbooks.

"For people who love beautiful china, you'll be able to look at European-made cups and saucers," the curator said. "Made for the elite who were drinking this as a drink in their homes in the 17th and 18th centuries. We have a lot of chocolate molds that were used by corner candy stores all over America in the late 19th and early 20th century. As well as a lot of samples of ads and packaging from the chocolate treats that we know today and some that we no longer have around."

The exhibit begins with seedpods that show how chocolate is cultivated. There is also a cacoa tree to show visitors what they look like. The Mayans were the first to use chocolate in royal and religious ceremonies and trade. The Aztecs used chocolate as a drink for the elites. It was offered to gods, payment to rulers and money in the market place.

There is a map of the world to show how chocolate began in South America, was sweetened in Europe and was made into bars in North America. The exhibit includes a video that shows how difficult it is to make chocolate. It is very labor intensive.

"We have a store at the end of the exhibit that offers lots of chocolate treats as well as books on chocolate and things like that," said Miller. "We also have a wonderful chocolate cafe where you can sample chocolately treats that were specially developed by our chefs here. They include chocolate ganache, and a very chocolately brownie that's just incredible."

The Chocolate Cafe is located just outside the exhibit and is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It features triple chocolate brownies for $4, chocolate ganache bars for $4, buckeyes for 75 cents, chocolate chip cookies for $1.75, and chocolate cherry walnut hobo bread for $5.75. There is also a chocolate fountain for dipping items such as strawberries, bananas, pretzel rods and twinkies for $2 per item.

Each weekend during the run of the exhibit, there will be FREE chocolate samples passed out to visitors. Some of the best chocolatiers around Metro Detroit are pitching in. Participating businesses include Panera Bread, Sanders, Morley Candy Makers, Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the Schakolad Chocolate Factory. It all begins at 11 a.m. in the IMAX Theatre lobby.

FREE CHOCOLATE SAMPLING SCHEDULE
Panera Bread July 12 and 26, August 2 and 16
Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shops July 12-13, August 23-24
Morley Candy Makers August 2-3, September 6-7
Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe July 19-20, August 16-17
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory July 26-27, August 30-31
Schakolad Chocolate Factory July 5-6, August 9-10

The Henry Ford Museum is open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for youth; members and children four and under are free. For more information, call (313) 982-6001 or visit www.TheHenryFord.org.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Hershey's Recipe Books, 1934.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Chocolates located in the glass display next to the entrance to the exhibit.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Chocolate comes from seedpods like these that grow on trees.

 

Click Here to see more pictures of "Chocolate: The Exhibition" at The Henry Ford.

 

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