Whether elementary, middle, high school, college-aged, or adult, our array of educational chocolate classes are available for in-classroom or virtual programming, and can be conducted as an interactive activity or lecture style. They make a great addition to summer camp offerings or as programming for historical societies, libraries, or adult education centers, and can even be tailored for senior center programming. Classes can be customized to science, ecology, geography, or history curriculum. All educational lectures can also include a tasting activity. Chocolate tasting classes make an excellent activity for private corporate team-building events. Tasting events can be scaled for large or small corporate groups in-office, or at a location of your choosing. Tastings can be conducted “classroom style” or as a tasting table for more casual events such as at an after-hours cocktail mixer, office party, or wedding reception.
Massachusetts Chocolate History
Most Boston visitors and students of American history know the story of the Boston Tea Party. But did you know that when the colonists stopped drinking tea due to taxation they instead turned to drinking chocolate? Infamous American patriot Paul Revere even crafted dedicated drinking chocolate pots that can be seen on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston and the state of Massachusetts have many historical connections to chocolate that continue on from that point in time, including being the home of the very first chocolate factory in North America, the first roadside retail confectionary operation, and the first forays into commercial white chocolate production. We’re the birthplace of a number of classic and beloved desserts and treats and the resting place of the famed Fannie Farmer, who lent her amazing recipes developed at the Boston Cooking School to the world through her iconic cookbook and was the inspiration for the nostalgic candy company of the similar name. Learn more about our sweet history with this
Chocolate Tasting 101: How to Taste Chocolate Like a Pro
Did you know that chocolate has a sound? And moreover, that sound can be a reflection of the level of sophistication of how the bar was made? If you’re looking to learn the basics of tasting chocolate, this program will guide you through the same process expert chocolate tasters use to assess quality. Experience chocolate in a new, deeper, more meaningful sense as you taste your way through a variety of small batch, craft, specialty bars from makers around the country and the world. Chocolate selections can be curated to feature a themed menu, including Women in Chocolate, Massachusetts/New England Made Chocolate, Chocolate Innovations, or Seasonal Selections.
Pairing Chocolate and Wine
In this program on chocolate and wine pairing, we’ll talk about how good quality chocolate can have over 400 flavor profiles, as opposed to around 200 for red wine. Though red wine is not the only type of wine that pairs with chocolate! Guests will be guided through a specially curated menu of pairings, featuring a variety of wines, including some very unexpected picks, partnered with craft chocolate selections that will enhance the overall combined tasting. We’ll also discuss the science of taste, and how it can affect your preferences in both chocolate and wine, regardless of what the expert ratings say.
The Science of Chocolate
We’ll answer questions like what chemicals in the brain are released when we eat chocolate that makes us feel so good? Does chocolate really have caffeine in it? What is cocoa butter, and why is it so important to chocolate, as well as other products that we don’t even eat? Why do I have trouble melting chocolate chips in the microwave? Why didn’t I like dark chocolate when I was a kid? The commonality between all of these, besides the chocolate, is all of these questions can be answered by SCIENCE! Let’s learn about all of the magical properties of cocoa, including why it can help improve your memory and cardiac function.
Politics of Chocolate
It’s hard not to smile when there’s chocolate nearby, but behind the deep, rich taste, there’s a whole world of serious (and fascinating) issues. Dive into the world of chocolate, exploring its entanglements with child labor, its aspirations with women-owned cooperatives and the Fair Trade movement, and its intrigues, including corporate espionage.
Cultural Perspectives on Chocolate
Why do the Swiss love their chocolate so much? Why are the Japanese obsessed with Kit Kat bars? Why isn’t American commercial chocolate as good as European? Learn about different perceptions of chocolate around the world while also picking up tips and tricks on how to learn more about a local food culture just by visiting a chocolate shop in this multi-cultural chocolate seminar.
The Cacao Tree: Fruit of the Gods
How was chocolate first discovered? Who were the first people to cook with it? Where does it grow and how exactly does it go from bean to bar? Learn about this amazing tree and how it goes from bitter, pulp-covered innards of a pod to delicious, mouth-watering sweets as well as how growing conditions, topography, and climate change can all affect this little almond-shaped bean.
Cocoa Consumerism: How to Buy Ethical Chocolate
As the American consumer becomes more attuned to where their food comes from, concerned chocoholics find themselves feeling a new sort of guilt when enjoying their favorite indulgence as ethical issues regarding how and through what means it was sourced arise. In this program, we’ll trace the chain of cocoa custody back to its questionable origins while examining the major world market players, and help you become a more educated consumer in the process. You’ll leave this class with a solid understanding of what you can do as a conscientious chocolate lover to make sure the beans in your bars weren’t sourced at the expense of someone else.
Chocolate and the Environment
With concerns about climate change increasing by the day, cacao producers around the world are working to ensure their farms survive the changing growing seasons. Likewise, small batch chocolate makers find themselves a surprisingly large piece of the puzzle–supporting farmers by purchasing beans that were farmed in a sustainable way and employing their own green practices to chocolate production, packaging, and delivery chains. We’ll also talk about the fabled history of the Arhuacos, an indigenous tribe in the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia that considers themselves stewards of the environment, and have raised cacao for over 500 years.
Looking for a fun and dynamic program for your troop that will have them entertained AND learning at the same time? Programs can be tailored to group needs as either a troop recreational activity or satisfying badge requirements. Programs are currently available to work towards the Brownie Snacks badge and the Cadette Trees badge. Learn from a 13 year Girl Scout (Daisies all the way up through Senior level) and former summer camp counselor and outreach coordinator!
Forget the Chicken Soup–I Want Chocolate! Why Chocolate Stirs our Emotions and Comforts us in Times of Stress
From the moment we have teeth, someone, early in our life, fed us chocolate. From that time onward, it became a part of our lives through holidays, birthdays, celebrations, and more. Now, as we all looked for our own ways to navigate a global trauma event, chocolate sales soared. The power of chocolate to spread joy and bring comfort is more significant than ever before. From neurotransmitters and ingrained positive associations, to the all-consuming power of nostalgia, chocolate lovers will gain insight on the healing powers of chocolate and its mystical ability to connect people through time and space.