General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Oct 2017/12 House
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Choco-Story Museum, Bruges

FURTHER AFIELD: Choco-Story Museum, Bruges, Belgium

Of all the commercial and non-commercial places to visit on Chocolate, we think one of the best, in terms of providing excellent background information and resources on the history of chocolate, is the Choco-Story Museum in Bruges, Belgium...

Displays at Choco-Story, Bruges
Displays at Choco-Story, Bruges (Click on image to enlarge)

It’s big (three floors of exhibition space), it’s a short walk from the centre of Bruges, it’s in English (trilingual in fact), it’s got something for everyone, and it gets four if not five stars from us for its educational value, which is unexpectedly high.
Housed in an elegant building that previously served as wine tavern, bakery and furniture shop, the museum is run by a family-owned chocolate business (Belcolade) with a high-class shop in the town centre. The Choco-Story ‘brand’ is spreading too: there are similar museums in Prague and Paris.

Replica of a painted Maya chocolate pot from Guatemala
Replica of a painted Maya chocolate pot from Guatemala (Click on image to enlarge)

The first floor presents the history of chocolate - with a well researched and extensive look at the role of chocolate in pre-Columbian America, the second focuses on the stages involved in chocolate’s manufacture and its properties, and the third explores the health benefits of chocolate. The museum is peppered with well chosen and presented (replica) artefacts, including ritual Maya chocolate jars, pottery figures of all kinds, codices, metates and other grinding equipment, rainforest trees, pods and birds, even a delightful display of simple examples of ‘exchange-value’ of cocoa beans in Aztec times...

Photos (of Choco-Story displays) by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore; top photo, from www.in-bruges.co.uk.

Museum website
Visit a ‘Cacao Ecomuseum’ on a plantation in Mexico
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