Visitors to the Eden Project's Chocolate Unwrapped festival, which starts today (Saturday April 5), will have the opportunity to meet a variety of historical characters and learn how important chocolate has been to people over the ages.
The characters – including Mayans, Spanish conquistadors and Victorians – are part of the Chocolate Trading Game, a fascinating and exciting journey through the Rainforest Biome, where Eden’s own crop of cocoa plants grows. This trek through time will help unwrap the history of this “food of the gods”.
The event will also give visitors the opportunity to make their own bespoke chocolate bar, see an exhibition of the history of chocolate since it was brought to Europe in the 17th century and meet a variety of chocolate experts, including Martin Chiffers, master chocolatier and former chef at London’s exclusive Savoy hotel.
Also appearing will be Aneesh Popat, who makes water ganache using no cream or butter, and Jim Campbell of Hasslacher's, who make gourmet Columbian hot chocolate.
Eden will be visited by the crew of Tres Hombres, the world’s only transatlantic engine-less cargo vessel. The schooner-brig will be docking in Cornwall with a cargo of chocolate and rum after a mammoth voyage that went from the Netherlands to the Caribbean before visiting Bermuda and the Azores on the way home.
Fair Transport Shipping, the owners of the vessel, are working with Bristol-based New Dawn Traders who aim to revive the UK’s sale cargo industry.
There will also be a wide variety of chocolate treats available to buy in the Eden shop to take home.
Kate Francis, Eden’s Production Coordinator, said:
“Easter is probably the most chocolaty time of the year and our Chocolate Unwrapped festival celebrates this fascinating, wonderful food.
“As well as inspiring visitors to use chocolate creatively in their cooking and showing them how cocoa plants grow in the Rainforest Biome, we also aim to show people the fascinating history it has. From the conquistadors to chocolate eggs, Chocolate Unwrapped will tell the story of our nation’s favourite sweet treat.”
Chocolate Unwrapped takes place from April 5 to 21. All activities are included in the Eden Project admission price, with the exception of the chocolate bar making workshops which cost 50p per bar. For more information, see www.edenproject.com.