Bruges – Choco-Story, Chocolate Museum
January 14, 2017
While in Bruges, one does need to check out anything that talks about chocolate. The museum, Choco-Story is located only a few blocks from the main square, tucked around the corner and entry costs €8.
The Museum is laid out across 3 floors starting from the 1st floor and reading your way through the history of cocoa/chocolate to the top.
The History of Cocoa
Cocoa has been around a lot longer than chocolate. Cocoa was discovered and used as a a drink 4000 years ago. Whereas chocolate wasn’t a thing until only 200 years ago.
The Mexicans made it as a spicy drink, adding chilli, Mexican peppers (allspice) and vanilla. It was made as a sweet drink until Spanish Nuns had a taste of cacao and started to add sugar to it in the 16th Century.
Cocoa beans grown 20° North and South of the Equator in Ecuador, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Indonesia & Malaysia.
Cocoa beans were a very valuable source back in the day and was used as a currency – you could buy a rabbit for 10 cocoa beans.
The hype of drinking cocoa spread to Europe in the 17th Century when the Spanish came to visit. It became popular among the European royalty, being served at weddings of the Royals – the weddings of Anne of Austria to King Louis XII and Maria-Theresa of Austria to Louis XIV. But for the everyday person, it was still very expensive, costing 5 days pay of a labourer for 500g.
It wasn’t until the early 1800 when Casper Van Houten discovered how to make cocoa butter from cocoa solids. Then blending that butter with cocoa mass to make what we now know to be chocolate.
Once you’ve finished perusing through the history, they have demonstrations of making pralines down on the ground floor. you get a taster at the end.
Making Chocolate Pralines
Enjoying the Praline
Other Museums in Brugge worth a visit:
FitBit Data. 14/01: 6.85KM’s – SRT 10,635