Museu de la Xocolata: mmm … xocolata!

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The Chocolate Museum in Barcelona was a fun little visit. With a small entry fee of 5 euro, you get a complimentary dark chocolate bar and a tour of the facility. Inside, you’ll learn about the history of chocolate, where it came from, how it started, and how it’s made. You’ll also see amazing showcases of chocolate sculptures and the tools and machines used to make chocolate.

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Once you’re done with the museum, you’ll reenter the chocolate shop where you can peruse and choose what kind of chocolate you’d like to purchase. How could you resist after looking at chocolate for an hour? We bought a plain dark chocolate bar and a large bark of dark chocolate and marcona almonds; both were tasty.

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They also have a fountain of chocolate, but unfortunately it had milk in it so we passed. Besides chocolate, they also have baked good supplies for sale. I bought a tea time theme, chocolate mold to make raw chocolate with when we get back to the States.

This little private museum is worth visiting if you like chocolate. I’d recommend it!

Here are some fun facts we learned from our visit:

  1. The first culture to grow cacao was the Mayans more than 2000 years ago and then the Aztecs inherited. These natives made a drink out of it and consumed it cold: cacao, water, vanilla, chili, and pepper.
  2. The Aztecs used the cacao beans as currency: a rabbit and prostitute would cost 10 beans, a slave 100 beans, and taxes were paid with beans (160 million for city of Moctezuma).
  3. The highest indexes of consumption per person a year are the following in developed countries: Switzerland, 10 kg; Great Britain, 7 kg; Germany, 7 kg; U.S.A., 5 kg; France, 4 kg; Japan, 3 kg and Spain, 2 kg.
  4. Chocolate has played a role in Barcelona’s economy since the 15th century, making Barcelona port the starting point for sale and distribution of chocolate for all of Europe.
  5. Once chocolate became popular in Europe, the Europeans changed the recipe from the natives because the flavor was too strong for them. The new recipe became a hot drink: cacao, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. The inventors of this new recipe were the religious orders, who included chocolate in their fasting periods.

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