Chocolate Week

Vanilla beans begin as the seedpods of a tropical orchid (left); Chocolate is made from the seeds hidden inside the fruit of the cacao tree (right).

The Delicious, Ancient History of Chocolate and Vanilla

Archaeologists are discovering that two of the world’s most prized flavors have a much richer history than we thought

The flavor of chocolate depends on numerous factors, from the soil the cacao plant was grown in, to the length of time the cocoa beans are fermented.

The Science of Good Chocolate

Meet the sensory scientist who is decoding the terroir of chocolate—and working to safeguard the cacao plant that gives us the sweet dark treat

Thermodynamics holds the answers to your wildest campfire dreams.

The Scientific Quest For the Perfect S’more

A trial by fire

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A Quest to Find America's Best Craft Chocolate Makers

“Chocolate Noise” profiles the most original small-batch chocolatiers across the country

Cacao trees with chocolate fruit pods on Kauai, HI.

How Hawaii Became the North Pole of Cacao

These chocolate makers have set up shop in the only state—and the coldest place—that can sustain cacao plantations

Pharmacists once used chocolate syrup to mask the bitter flavor of their remedies—and make a little money on the side.

The Unlikely Medical History of Chocolate Syrup

How the sundae staple went from treatment to just treat

Mmm, science.

Science Explains Why Chocolate Should be Savored, Not Scarfed

And other molecular secrets to digest while you're digesting

Cacao beans drying in the Dominican Republic

New Research

The Secret Behind Your Favorite Coffee Could Be Yeast

Researchers find three unique strains of yeast that help ferment coffee and cacao beans and may give the treats their unique flavors

Scientists looked for the black-and-white colubus monkey in protected areas across the Ivory Coast but only found one population of the animals still living in a sacred grove.

Anthropocene

Illegal Cocoa Farms Are Driving Out Primates In Ivory Coast

Thirteen national parks and reserves have lost all their primates as people move in to protected regions to farm cacao

A chocolate pot from Yokohama, Japan, ca. 1904. Porcelain with clear glaze and overglaze enamels

Chocolate Week

A Brief History of the Chocolate Pot

How humans have consumed chocolate sheds lights on its significance to cultures and eras

The World of Chocolate

What Physics Tells Us About Making the Perfect Chocolate

Like carbon, the treat can take on many crystalline forms, so a master chocolatier must know how to temper it in just the right way

Cocoa roasters at the Hershey Chocolate Company in Pennsylvania

The World of Chocolate

The Short Rise and Fall of the Crazy-for-Cocoa-Trade Cards Craze

In the late 19th-century, when you bought chocolate, the grocer dropped a delightful prize into your bag, a trade card to save and share

Chocolate Week

D.C.'s Artisan Chocolate Makers Show Off Their Sweet Labor of Love

Leaving no task undone, this husband-and-wife team demonstrate their process for producing chocolate

An example of a pot used by the ancient Maya

Chocolate Week

What We Know About the Earliest History of Chocolate

We’ve learned things that could help today’s artisan chocolatiers improve their trade

Is fine chocolate slipping through our fingers?

The World of Chocolate

How to Save the Chocolate Tree Without Sacrificing Flavor

Demand, disease and climate change are threatening cocoa, but a new breed of clones could keep the treat abundant and tasty

Richard Cadbury began selling chocolates in heart-shaped boxes in 1861.

The World of Chocolate

How Chocolate and Valentine's Day Mated for Life

Tracing the lovers, the leaders and the ladies responsible for the pairing of chocolate to Valentine's Day

A close-up of the 2012 cake.

The World of Chocolate

How an Archaeologist Revived King Tut's Tomb With A Chocolate Cake

By day Eric Hollinger is an archeologist, but his passion is baking and his chocolate cakes are works to behold

Don't try this at home.

The World of Chocolate

Healers Once Prescribed Chocolate Like Aspirin

From ancient Mesoamerica to Renaissance Europe, the modern confectionary treat has medical roots

A chart of chocolate future prices since Valentine's Day, 2014

The World of Chocolate

The Economics of Chocolate

Before becoming a kiss, bar, or hot drink, cocoa gets shipped, stashed, smashed, and, most critically for producers and consumers alike, commodified

The mouthwatering nature of chocolate is one constant no matter where you go.

Switzerland

Chocolate Destinations Around the World to Drool Over

These five places from Belgium to Hong Kong offer their own enticing takes on the confection