Chocolate Exhibit Explores History Behind the Candy


It was discovered thousands of years ago and has become one of the most globally enjoyed treats today…

It’s throwback Thursday, and it’s a delicious one.

Happening now…Emily Medalen is live from the North Dakota heritage center with the story.

Emily, you’re making me hungry for some chocolate this morning. 

Tim, I’m getting hungry just talking about it!

I spent the day at the Chocolate Exhibit that travels the U.S. and is in North Dakota for the very first time, to learn about how chocolate became the savory snack it is today.

Here’s the story.

“I eat chocolate every day,” says Russ Widi, of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Chocolate lovers everywhere are getting a taste of where the beloved treat comes from at the Chocolate Exhibit at the North Dakota Heritage center.

“There’s a lot of history behind chocolate, and also I don’t know if people are aware of what a major global economic driver chocolate is today,” says Kim Jondahl, Communications and Education Director for State Historical Center.

As you walk through, you get a look at where the cocoa to make chocolate comes from…

“Talking about rainforest sustainability, so that the cocao trees stay healthy, it talks about slavery that was used, it talks about child labor…” says Jondahl.

You may be surprised to find that for hundreds of years – starting when chocolate originated, chocolate wasn’t sweet – that was roughly 250 A.D.

“It traces chocolate from its earliest uses in ancient Mayan culture as a spicy drink,” says Jondahl.

It uses digital maps show you the paths chocolate took as it became global in the 1700’s, and how it changed its form.

“Chocolate came to Europe and met sugar, and it became the sweet treat it is known as today,” says Jondahl.

Today, it’s simple – we grab a candy bar or bag of chocolates at the store and don’t think much of it.But, the cocoa is still hand picked and peeled from cocao trees before it’s processed…

“You know, you don’t think about it when you bite into that Hershey’s bar, or drink that cocoa…” says Jondahl.

Widi says there’s a simple reason he thinks this display is so savory.

“Everyone pretty much loves chocolate. It’s been enjoyed through the ages.”

The Chocolate Museum will be at the North Dakota Heritage Museum until September 6th.

I even got a chocolate bar from the exhibit… Tim, do you think it’s too early for me to eat this?


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