General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 28 Feb 2021/5 Monkey
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Cadbury World and chocolate’s history

Cadbury World, Bournville

Though a big, commercial theme venue, the introductory part of the visitors’ centre has an atmospheric and appealing history section on the origins of chocolate amongst the Mesoamerican civilizations. They unfortunately intermix the Aztecs with the Maya constantly, but the whole experience is very child-friendly.

Cadbury World chocolate exhibition
Cadbury World chocolate exhibition (Click on image to enlarge)

Visitors used to get a chance to try tasting Aztec-style chocolate (bitter - but the real thing!), but now this is restricted to once a year during their annual Aztec Week (usually in May). Cadbury World have produced a ‘Written Script’ for teachers accompanying school parties: it contains 8 pages on the ‘Mexican’ end of chocolate’s history; the basic introduction to the Maya, Aztec and Spanish Conquest is good, though it’s a pity it starts out with a simple error, inviting children into ‘Zone One - The Aztec Jungle’.

The captions on display contain several minor errors; the worst one gives a rather fanciful account of the role of La Malinche/Doña Marina, suggesting ‘Among the gifts [given by Moctezuma to Cortés] was a young Aztec girl whom Cortés named Marina. Marina spoke many languages and acted as interpreter and guide to Cortés... Among the stories and secrets she told him were those of chocolate and Quetzalcoatl. Cortés used this story to gain power over Moctezuma...’

Doña Marina with Cortés
Doña Marina with Cortés (Click on image to enlarge)

Mexicolore donated a molinillo (chocolate whisk) to Cadbury World, by the way, back in the early 1980s, but it’s no longer on display...

Photos by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore

Learn more about Doña Marina/La Malinche

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