Moscow, Museum of Chocolate and Cacao
Чернышева Полина, Рожкова Анастасия,
Муталлапова Альбина, Казакова Дарья
ГБОУ СОШ 576, г. Москва
We are Polina Chernysheva, Nastya Rozhkova, Albina Mutallapova and Dasha Kazakova. We are the students of the 6th B Form at Moscow school 576. This year we have been doing the project “What do we know about chocolate?” Our teacher of English told us about a very interesting place in Moscow – the museum of Chocolate and Cacao. We have visited this “tasty” place with great pleasure and now we are ready to tell you about it.
The Museum of Chocolate and Cacao is a unique museum which welcomes you to visit it, find out the history of chocolate and taste this sweet product. Your trip will start with the “chocolate river” and continue over an hour and a half.
First, you visit the ancient Mayans, their Pyramids in Chichen Itza and come nearer the solution of Mayan writings. The Mayans were the first people to use cacao beans to make a chocolate drink. Their chocolate drink was not sweet like the chocolate drink we know today; it was very bitter. They made it with spices and water. Next footsteps of chocolate were found in the Aztecs history. They had a lot of gods and they built temples for them. One of their gods was called Quetzalcoatl. The Aztecs believed that Quetzalcoatl came to the Earth on the Morning Star Ray and brought cacao tree like a present for people. He taught them to roast and grind the beans to make special pasta for special drink. The Aztecs began to use the beans to a chocolate drink with spices, chili and honey. It was red and bitter. That drink gave them the strength and wisdom.
Then on the board of a Spanish ship you will travel to America with Hernando Cortez. Through the ship window you will have a chance to enjoy the night stars and feel the breeze from the sea. Hernando Cortez was a Spanish soldier who went to the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma. Montezuma gave Cortez chocolate to drink. When he went back to Spain he took a lot of cacao beans and things for making the chocolate drink.
You will continue your trip in a carriage around Europe and find out the interesting facts of chocolate popularity. In 15-16th centuries only rich people could enjoy the new drink because cacao beans were very expensive. The Italians learnt the secret for making chocolate from the Spanish, then the French from the Italians. Soon many countries in Europe knew how to make chocolate.
Now it’s time to see this fantastic tree and its beans and to know the process of producing the drink and sweets. There is an unusual and fairy tree in the centre of a great hall. It is coolly decorated and lightened with all rainbow colours. Cacao trees are about 6 meters tall and have big green leaves. Small pink flowers and then ponds grow from the trunk and the branches of the trees. One pod is about 450 grams and consists of 20-40 beans. You can also touch real beans and pods and see cacao oil.
Then you are offered to see an interesting documentary film about the process of producing chocolate on the modern flat screen TV made of glass. First, people cut the cacao pods from the trees, and then the beans must be fermented for 5 to 8 days. After the fermentation the beans must dry in the sun. Ships take the cacao beans in sacks to countries that make chocolate.
After the film you are invited to visit a “chocolate laboratory” with all instruments for producing chocolate. You can see a huge pot where the pasta was stirred without stopping within 3 days and old saucepans and special tins for chocolate. At the beginning the process of chocolate producing was hand-made. In the end of the 19th century the first chocolate workshops and factories appeared.
The next part of the exhibition is devoted to Russia. You are in Russia in a concern “Einem” in a study of Julius Heuss. It’s 1876. He is sitting at the table and looks like going to give his last instructions in order to make the new flavour of chocolate. Opposite there is the Abrikosov’s family mansion. They were the first ones to produce chocolate in Russia and became known outside it. Nowadays the names of these factories are “Krasny Oktyabr” and “Babaevskiy”.
The museum is very exciting with a lot of exhibits. You can see a chocolate boutique with a pretty table to drink a cup of hot chocolate. There is also the first slot machine to buy a sweet in it. The museum is really modern with a lot of new technologies like a flat TV set or a glass wall. You can find electronic books and watch a cartoon in order to remember everything.
Finally, you visit the factory and see how the sweets and bars of chocolate are made. And you can taste everything you see! It’s absolutely delicious!
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