World of Chocolate
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 22, 2014
On our recent visit to Orlando, we stopped by the World of Chocolate Museum and Café on International Drive. While waiting for our tour to begin, we studied the exotic chocolates offered for sale from around the world and the artistic creations inside display cases.
We couldn’t resist tasting some of the baked treats. This is our daughter’s portion of chocolate lava cake.
My husband and I ate our chocolate bombe filled with mousse so fast that I forgot to take a picture. It was heavenly! The café serves desserts along with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It’s not for calorie watchers by any means. Put on your sweet tooth for this visit.
The guide began his tour amid rumblings of thunder and the pounding of rain from outside. This was appropriate as he led us into a faux rainforest to explain the origins of the cacao plant. Discovered by natives in South and Central America years ago, the plant was made into a drink that was bitter and spicy. Conquerors brought the plants to Spain where the resultant hot chocolate drink was consumed by royalty, and from there it made its way to France.
At some point, sugar was added to the mix. Cacao eventually made its way to the U.S. where Hershey grabbed onto it. Theobromine is an alkaloid found in cacao that is similar to caffeine. It is usually not present in white chocolate. Dark baking chocolate has the most content.
We saw sculptures made in Europe by artisans and crated to the U.S. for the museum. The intricacy of detail was amazing. You can smell the chocolate as you walk along.
Next the guide explained the chocolate making process while pointing out various pieces of machinery. They do not make the chocolate in front of you here so don’t expect a demo.
Finally, we were taken to a room full of display cases showing chocolate bar wrappers from around the world. Then we sampled various bits of chocolate that ranged from bitter to quite sweet.
Of course, we ended up buying a few bars each in the gift shop. Who could resist?
What is your secret chocolate vice?