BELGRADE – Did you know that chocolate, regarded by as the ultimate satisfaction, comes from the cocoa tree, which grows in the tropics and whose ground seeds yield pure virgin chocolate?
The peoples who lived in central America called the tree kakau, kagau and kakauatl, and the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus gave it the scientific title Theobroma cacao – ‘food of the gods’.
This is only one of hundreds of facts every visitor of Serbia and its capital will be able to see until next April at an exhibition entitled Black and White – a Chocolate Exhibition, which was opened on 24 December in the Gallery of the Museum of Natural History in the Kalemegdan Fortress.
Other facts which will be presented to visitors will be where the world’s oldest chocolate was found, what did the Mayas’ and Aztecs’ chocolate look like, and its role in the lives of the people of central America, and how through history, various civilisations and ancient cultures, thanks to industrial development and the demands of commerce the modern chocolate was formed, that enjoyed by millions nowadays.
Where is the Academy of Chocolate and where is there Chocolate Slavery?
Visitors will be able to learn the difference between praslines and pralines, who and where the chocolate war was waged, where does there exist the Academy of Chocolate and where is there chocolate slavery. They will see chocolates of various shapes, sizes and tastes, accessories and vessels for chocolate used by the Mayas and the Aztecs, the first chocolate “that melts in the mouth”, the ancestor of all modern chocolate made in 1879, the first praline box, which dates from almost a century ago, the first chocolate made in this region, and many other interesting and also delicious exhibits.
The exhibition will feature the manifold significance of chocolate, not just as a favourite sweet, but as an economic and civilisational factor.
The exhibition is realised in co-operation with chocolate manufacturers Art Ival and Adoré (based in Belgrade) and Eugen (Novi Sad) and the Pharmaceutical and Physical Therapy School (Belgrade), the embassy of Mexico in Serbia, and Belgrade’s Museum of Applied Art.
Recipes of various sweets made of chocolate were prepared by Ivana Popović (blog MALIIV, Belgrade). The exhibition’s authors are Olga Vasić and Desa Đorđević Milutinović, and it was opened by Voislav Vasić, a retired ornithologist and naturalist. The Director of the Museum of Natural History, Slavko Spasić, and Ms. Vasić also spoke at the opening.
The exhibition is intended for a broad public of all age groups and levels of education, primary and secondary school students, the students of the faculties of Biology, Agriculture, Pharmaceutics and Technology. Although chocolate is a product of human knowledge, experience and skill, its origin is in nature. All the ingredients, directly or indirectly, come from nature from both flora and fauna, and chocolate brings them together.
An example of Co-Operation Between Humans and Nature
The main raw materials, cocoa and cocoa butter, come from the beans of the cocoa three, which grows in the tropical parts of central America and Africa.
Milk, the other important ingredient, is the product of the mammary glands of cows, domesticated from their wild predecessors which have died out, while their relatives can still be found in nature. The basis for excreting milk is vegetable food, usually different grasses, and other soft plant materials. The fruits and seeds of the fruit, as well as chili peppers, also come from sorts developed from wild ancestors.
Chocolate is a good example of good co-operation between human beings and nature. Furthermore, as a pleasant and accessible source of satisfaction chocolate can serve as an easily comprehensible proof that humans get absolutely everything from nature, whether indirectly or directly. It is for this reason necessary to remind ourselves of this all the time and by good examples convince ourselves in the necessity of a correct relationship with nature and the preservation of its diversity.
You can read an interesting story about chocolate HERE.