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NC Museum of Natural Sciences hosts "Chocolate: The Exhibition"

A sweet experience for all ages!

RALEIGH — A gift for the gods. A symbol of wealth and luxury. An economic livelihood. Bonbons. Hot fudge. Candy bars. Get the complete story behind the tasty treat that we crave in "Chocolate," a tantalizing new exhibition showing at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh from May 9 to September 7, 2009.

From rainforest treasure to luscious treat — immerse yourself in the story of chocolate. You'll begin in the rainforest with the unique cacao tree whose seeds started it all. Visit the ancient Maya civilization of Central America and discover what chocolate meant nearly 1,500 years ago. Then travel forward in time and northward to the Aztec civilization of 16th-century Mexico, where cacao seeds were so valuable they were used as money. Discover chocolate's introduction into the upper classes of European society and its transformation into a mass-produced world commodity.

Through scenic elements, original video, interactive exhibition techniques, photographs from around the world, and over 200 replicated artifacts and props, "Chocolate" will engage your senses and reveal facets of this sumptuous sweet that you've never thought about before. You'll explore the plant, the products and the culture of chocolate through the lenses of science, history and popular culture. "Chocolate" is a sweet experience for all ages!

The Museum is also planning an array of public programs, films and performances, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, and other special events highlighting the many facets of chocolate. For programming updates, please visit naturalsciences.org. Exhibition tickets are currently available online. Prices: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors/students/military and $4 for children (5-11). Free to children under 5 and Friends of the Museum.

Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications, and educational programming. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 am to 5 pm, and Sun., noon to 5 pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.