All About Chocolate

Candy bars, milk shakes, cookies, flavored coffee—even cereal and medicine! Chocolate is a key ingredient in many foods. In fact, it ranks as the favorite flavor of most Americans. And yet, few of us know the unique origins of this popular treat.

The story of chocolate spans more than 2,000 years and now circles the globe. The tale began in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America where cacao (kah KOW) first grew. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree.

But the journey from seed to sweet is a long one, spanning many centuries and requiring many processes. So select which tale you’d like to hear first:

Growing Chocolate
Fascinated by chocolate’s origins? Explore the rainforest habitat of the cacao tree, discover the different ways it can be grown, and learn about this amazing plant’s many unusual characteristics.

The History of Chocolate
Curious about who discovered chocolate? Meet the people who first used cacao, then view their tools and explore their traditions. You'll learn how chocolate is made the Maya, Aztec, Spanish, and contemporary way.

Eating Chocolate
Craving more of your favorite indulgence? Immerse yourself in the lure and lore of chocolate and investigate its use as a health remedy, an alleged aphrodisiac, and a seasoning in recipes from around the world.

Making Chocolate
Interested in how chocolate is produced today? Investigate key inventions in the manufacturing and molding process of chocolate candy. Learn the differences between bittersweet and baking, milk and white, and dark and “dutched” chocolate. And examine the issues involved in trading chocolate on today’s global markets.

The Chocolate Challenge
So you think you’re an expert on chocolate? Test your knowledge and see how chocolate’s popularity spread worldwide.

Books, Films, and Resources
Want to learn even more about chocolate? Check out the latest listings of adult and children’s books, films, and other resources that address conservation, cultural, and commodity issues surrounding chocolate.

Just for Kids
Looking for chocolate fun for the whole family? Download kid-friendly recipes, fun facts, crossword puzzles, word finds, and other educational activities. Kids can even “make” chocolate online in our Manufacturing Chocolate from Seed to Sweet interactive.

Chocolate Exhibition
All About Chocolate
Growing Chocolate
History of Chocolate
Eating Chocolate
Making Chocolate
Chocolate Challenge
Books, Films, Resources
Just For Kids
Educators' Resources
Planning Your Visit
Events and Programs
Chocolate Tour

Bottom Bar

Chocolate Home | Chocolate Exhibition | All About Chocolate | Educators' Resources | Planning Your Visit | Events and Programs | Chocolate Tour | Field Museum | Credits

© 2007 The Field Museum, All Rights Reserved
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2496

Copyright Information | Linking Policy

© "Wilbur Chocolate, A Cargill Foods Company", © Justin Kerr, © Photodisc, Inc

Technical Support

HelpSitemapSearchThe Field Museum