This is a guest post from a reader and fellow blogger from Japan! Hope you enjoy it! – Jenny
I went to National Museum of Nature and Science @ Tokyo to visit the Chocolate Exhibition . In summary, this exhibition showed everything about chocolate, including the history of cocoa and chocolate, the industrialization of chocolate, cocoa in the Maya civilization, and included the history of the chocolate pot!
I love chocolate! Just as much as Brenda Leigh Johnson from “Closer” (US TV drama), however, I did not even know it was made from cacao.
The history of chocolate, especially cacao, is very mysterious. In ancient times, cacao was eaten in the Amazon area of South America. However, according to DNA research, its origin is in Central America. Nobody knows why or how cacao was carried from South to Central America nearly 4,000 years ago. Also, a little known fact is that around BC2000, cacao was also used for currency!
And now, let me omit 3,600 years from BC2000^^ We jump to Europe 1600 A.D. (Sorry, but I do not want take all night to finish this post^^)
They drank chocolate with a chocolate pot (I had never seen it before, but Europeans still use it?)
Next, “Chocolate and Japan”. Do you know who is the first one who ate chocolate in Japan?? Sho-gun? Emperor? The answer is a “Prostitute in Nagasaki”! She was given chocolate by a Dutch diplomat in the late 1800s. This just comes from un-official document though^^
Following “Chocolate and Japan”, we went to “Lets experience a manufacturing process of chocolate”. Here, we experience the manufacturing process. I think you all do not understand what I am talking about^^ So, I’ll show you a picture here.
I never knew about chocolate before visiting this exhibition, even though I eat it almost every day. It was an awesome experience!
Finally, there are many of museums around this national museum at Ueno. You can spend a day to just have a look around. If you get tired, you could a rest at Ueno park or Ueno zoo^^ So, if you stayed in Japan, I strongly recommend you to go when you have time.
That’s all for today. Arigato and Matane.
Thanks Hiro! For those candy and sweet lovers please check out Hiro’s blog: Japanese Snacks and Candy Gallery. Growing up in Tokyo, I have a soft spot for Japanese sweets, even though I don’t have a sweet tooth. They are just so unique, fun and creative! Funny how I still crave them even at my age!