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The Chocolate Exhibit Returns

Sweet Indulgence Back At TheNAT

Ancient Mayans were the first to use chocolate.

Credit: Justin Kerr

Above: Ancient Mayans were the first to use chocolate.


Michael W. Hager, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer, TheNAT

Brooke Feldman

Communications Director, Chuao Chocolatier


Turkey may be on most people's minds this week but TheNAT is serving up something sweeter with a return of its Chocolate Exhibition (running through March 10, 2013).

Earlier this year, Scientific American reported on the embattled cacao tree and speculated that it might not be able to meet the increasing demand for chocolate around the globe. Here in San Diego you can explore the story of chocolate with the return of the Chocolate Exhibition at The Nat. The exhibit was originally mounted 7 years ago and returns with some minor modifications, among which will be some family events.

San Diego-based Chuao Chocolatier is helping with the exhibit. The company, run by Michael Antonorsi and his brother, specializes in artisan chocolates and is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a rebranding campaign and new chocolate offerings.

The exhibit tells the story of chocolate from its origins as a bitter drink of the ancient Mayans to its transformation into a sweet indulgence by the Europeans. The museum gift shop is well stocked with a broad range of chocolate treats from Chuao's spicy Mayan hot chocolate mix to bacon chocolate bars.

The Chocolate Exhibit runs through March 10 of next year at TheNAT in Balboa Park. Chuao Chocolatier has 3 locations: Encinitas, Del Mar, and La Jolla.

And here is some suggested film viewing to go along with the exhibit: "Like Water For Chocolate," "Chocolat," "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and "The Chocolate War."

Some additional chocolate websites:


Valrhona Chocolates


Green & Black's

Dagoba Chocolates

Smithsonian History of Chocolate

Hershey's Chocolate

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