Monday, 2 March 2015

Chocolate Story – chocolate museum in Prague, travel stories part 2

The gates of heaven

A few days ago I wrote about some book-related experiences in Prague. Now I'll continue with another favourite topic: chocolate!

I must start with the visit to the chocolate museum... yes, that's right, a museum dedicated to chocolate! I'll admit that I didn't know about this museum when we planned our trip or even when we arrived – it was one of those things we discovered unexpectedly. One night, we were walking along the streets of this beautiful city, and I saw a sign that said ”Chocolate Story” … that called for some investigation, and the place turned out to be a chocolate museum! That was, of course, something we had to see.

The museum isn't very big, but the exhibition features many fascinating objects and a great deal of information. You learn about the history of chocolate, health benefits of eating chocolate, how cocoa is grown and harvested, and so on. You can watch a couple of videos about how chocolate is made, and you can even observe a live demonstration of praline making – which includes a tasting of the finished product! We happened to be the only people watching the demonstration, which meant we could observe the process up close. I can only admire the skill of the chocolatier. He made it all look so easy!

When the pralines were finished, we got to sample them. These particular specimen were milk chocolate pralines filled with hazelnut nougat, and I have to say, it was delectable. It was one of the best chocolates I have ever tasted! (We have pictures of me eating the chocolate, but the look on my face is simply too lascivious for those pictures to be shared.) We were also offered an opportunity to try making our own chocolate, but although I was tempted, I refused (I am infamously clumsy and messing around with molten chocolate in the museum kitchen just didn't seem like a wise idea).

In addition, the museum features numerous interesting artefacts, among them chocolate cups and vessels for making hot chocolate, from ancient clay cups of the Aztecs to the later, decorative European versions.

A chocolate cup for a moustached man!

In addition, there are chocolate wrappings and chocolate boxes...

A book-shaped chocolate box!

...and a huge, and I mean huge, chocolate fall (that's like a waterfall but what falls isn't water but molten chocolate).

Why, oh why did they put that glass there?!?

After touring the museum – we stayed well over an hour, it was so fascinating – we visited the museum shop and bought a couple of chocolate bars, which, we assumed, were flavoured to resemble the oldest chocolate (the kind you drink) recipes from the Aztecs and the Spaniards, respectively. There is also another, larger shop on the same premises, but more about that later.

If you're a chocolate lover and are planning to visit Prague, I heartily recommend including a visit to the chocolate museum in your itinerary!

A handy chart for describing the aromas of chocolate

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