"The Story of Chocolate"


On Mother's Day, May 10, 2014, I spent two amazing hours with a group of local children for the first event related to my upcoming book "The Origins: Chocolate." Titled "The Story of Chocolate," the program took place at Hidden Villa, a gorgeous organic farm in Los Altos Hills, California. We had a wonderfully chocolatey time. Activities included:

– Circle Time: each child told their favorite chocolate story, shared something they knew about chocolate, or asked a question about it.  
– Cacao History TRUE/FALSE: I put together a TRUE/FALSE quiz based on the research I'd done for my book. We stood around a table on the patio tasting bits of dark chocolate and discussing the answers.
– Ingredient Label Mash-up: we mixed a dizzying variety of chocolate bars in a pile. Each child blind-selected one bar and read the ingredients.  We identified the different ingredients and learned how to tell whether they were organic/natural, synthetic, or processed.
– Cacao Treasure Hunt & Barter: I hid little baggies of real cacao beans and a little extra surprise all over the garden and the Center. The "extra surprise" in each baggie was the item the children would negotiate for, using the cacao seeds as currency, the way the Maya did in ancient times.
– And finally, what would a chocolate event be without a proper Chocolate Fondue!  We dipped strawberries, apricots, apples and pears from a local fruit stand. Best part, the kids were able to make chocolate-covered fruit for their moms for Mother's Day.
Enjoy the photos below—the fact there are so few attest to how much fun we were having!