From Beans to Bars

Photos courtesy World of Chocolate Museum and Café, Orlando

Smooth, silky soft and sensual… Delicious, desirable and decadent… and sure to make the reader's mouth water.

What am I talking about? The delightful, melting moments of chocolate.

If you love chocolate, I recommend a visit to the World of Chocolate Museum to learn more about the origins of the world’s most loved sweet treat.

The award-winning chocolate museum offers tours daily that start off with a short presentation and video. Each tour is guide-led and takes guests through several different areas of the museum illustrating the history of chocolate from the first recorded mention of cacao thousands of years ago to the chocolate we consume today.

The tropical rainforest area tells us about cacao — how it's grown and where. The interactive tour keeps young and old alike engaged as they learn the different parts of the world where cacao trees are farmed.

Throughout the tour, the romantic, luxurious smell of chocolate wafts in the air as we find out how chocolate is made and actually see old, retired machinery used to prepare chocolate. Guests can learn about the origins of chocolate and its rich history through the hundreds of years of evolution from Central and South America, throughout Europe and then into the United States. The growth of the chocolate industry burgeoned in the 1800s and in 1847, the very first chocolate bar, as we know it today, was made in England.

If you're not already yearning for a bar of chocolate, the large display of solid chocolate sculptures will. Impressive and detailed and some as high as 6-foot tall, the chocolate sculptures feature world famous landmarks like the Great Wall of China, the Lost Army and the Eiffel Tower. There's also one of the Statue of Liberty, along with busts of famous individuals like Christopher Columbus and Marilyn Monroe. The Taj Mahal sculpture, hand-crafted from white chocolate, was just beautiful in its intricacies. The temperature in this area is carefully maintained and no flash photography is allowed. There are also a number of displays featuring vintage and modern chocolate advertising posters and wrappers through the years.

Towards the end of the approximately hourlong tour comes the tasting room where everyone can sample some of the finest chocolate from around the world. There’s also hot chocolate and chocolate fondue. The top brands of chocolate are all featured and include Valrhona, Amedei, Zotter, Dolfin and more.

The museum also has a gift shop and a European-style café where you can enjoy your favorite coffee or beverage, paninis, cheesecake and other gorgeous pastries.

It’s not all bad news for those of us watching our weight. Cacao is actually good for us. According to the US Department of Agriculture, ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) a unit of measurement for antioxidant content, puts chocolate and its cacao content in a very high bracket and has 10 times the value of blueberries if consumed in its purest form.


The World of Chocolate Museum & Café
11701 International Drive in Orlando, FL 32821
Phone: (407) 778- 4871
Mon - Fri 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat - Sun 10:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Adults- $16.95 + Tax
Children, Seniors, Military- $12.95 + Tax
Children under 4- Free

Tours are guided and take approximately 45 minutes.
No flash photography permitted in the sculpture area