Cranbrook Institute of Science to Debut Chocolate: The Exhibition on Saturday


The Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills will be debuting Chocolate: The Exhibition, where guests can learn the history of chocolate, its evolution, and its commercial success. The exhibit opens on Saturday and runs through Jan. 7, 2018.

As part of the exhibit, visitors will travel through time to explore the history of chocolate, from its rainforest origins, use in ancient cultures, and transformation by Europeans into the beloved treat it is today. Chocolate: The Exhibition explores the plant, products, history, and culture of chocolate through the lenses of botany, ecology, anthropology, economics, conservation, and popular culture.

“Chocolate is like nothing we have ever brought to the Institute before,” says Michael D. Stafford, director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science. “It provides our guests with another look at the ‘sweet treat’ we have all become accustomed to, and educates them on where it actually came from, its different uses over time, and the vital role it played in regions’ economies.”

The exhibition and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum in Chicago, and was supported in part by the National Science Foundation. Visitors can examine the relationship between chocolate and human culture, beginning with the Mayan civilization in Central America, who used a spicy drink made from the seeds of the cacao tree in royal and religious ceremonies.

Cranbrook Institute of Science members are invited to an exhibit preview featuring tasting events at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and it will open to the public at noon. The member preview will feature a lecture called “How Well Do You Know Chocolate?” where guests can sample different chocolates to identify them.

Additionally, there will be tastings of the Mayan “homebrew” chocolate during the week of Thanksgiving, and a bus tour to Mindo Chocolate in Dexter, to experience the taste of Ecuador chocolates in Michigan.

The exhibit is open during regular business hours and is an additional cost ($6-$8) to museum general admission. More information can be found here.