A Look Into New York City’s First-Ever Chocolate Museum

A Look Into New York City’s First-Ever Chocolate Museum

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Last week, we reported that the first-ever permanent dessert museum will be opening in New York City, and last night we got a first look inside.


Renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres’ new chocolate museum is called Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres and is located in Soho on Hudson Street.

choco-story-new-york-exterior
Kevin Chiu

Visitors are greeted by a mural when they enter Choco-Story New York.

 

The museum combines the history of cacao and chocolate with hands-on activities to make your own chocolate, and, the best part—chocolate tastings. The kids may want to breeze through the historical part of the museum, but it is definitely worth bringing them to try samples, play in the kids' area, and make their own chocolate.

The tour begins with the history of the cacao bean. Mayan and Aztec civilizations discovered the cacao bean around 250 BC-900 AD and used it to create a “drink of the gods.” In the 1500s, the cacao bean was first introduced in Spain and spread across Europe as a drink of choice among nobility.

You can view artifacts used to create chocolate, including a pre-Columbian grinding stone from 500 AD, chocolate cutters, moulds, and pots for drinking chocolate.
 

chocolate-skyline
Samantha Neudorf

The New York City skyline made entirely of chocolate by students at the International Culinary Center.

 

Along the way, there is a sculpture of the New York City skyline made entirely of milk and dark chocolate pieces created by students at the International Culinary Center, where Torres is the Dean of Pastry Arts. The students will also be creating a dark chocolate flowerbox filled with chocolate soil and handcrafted chocolate flowers.
 

woman-making-mayan-hot-chocolate
Kevin Chiu

Taste freshly grounded Mayan hot chocolate during the museum tour.

 

Visitors are led to an area resembling an Amazonian rainforest to learn about how cocoa pods are harvested and turned into chocolate. You can try original Mayan hot chocolate that has been grounded by hand. It has a bitter taste, but you can add sugar, cinnamon, hot chile, and other add-ins to customize your own drinking chocolate.
 

chocolate-ingredients
Kevin Chiu

Some of the ingredients used to turn cacao beans into chocolate.

 

There is also a special area for kids to explore with a sand pit to dig up “undiscovered artifacts,” and pretend to be a chocolate shop owner with a toy kitchen and cash register.
 


Samantha Neudorf

Dark chocolate used in Jacques Torres' shop

 

The hands-on experience of the visit is by appointment only and costs extra, but is worth considering and is fun with kids. You can make your own chocolate creations to take home and decorate it with all kinds of toppings. This is how my chocolate turned out (it’s harder than it looks!). 

 

chocolate-bars
Samantha Neudorf

You can make your own chocolate creations and add any toppings you want.

 

We were able to see how Jacques Torres makes chocolate truffles. Here is our Facebook Live video from his demonstration.
 

 

Choco-Story New York is located at 350 Hudson Street and will be open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm. Admission is $15; $12 seniors, military, and students; $10 children ages 4-12; free for younger than 4. The hands-on experience only is $40, and $45 with museum entry.

RELATED:

A Taste of the Museum of Ice Cream

Chocolate-Making Classes in New York City


Main image: Dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties at Choco-Story New York.
Photo by Kevin Chiu



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