55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
94118
415.379.8000
Regular Hours:

Daily

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday

11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:

Tuesday

8:30 – 9:30 am

Sunday

10:00 – 11:00 am
Closures
Notices

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Exhibit Archive
  Chocolate: The Exhibition
 
   

CHOCOLATE PUBLIC PROGRAMS

 

CHOCOLATE SUMMER FESTIVALS

Join the Academy for three special days of programs dedicated to the culture, science, and history of chocolate. All programs are free with museum admission. Space is limited and on a first-come basis.

Saturday, June 18

Mole Tamales
Sample mole tamales, as made in the state of Puebla, México, and take home printed recipes. Mole is a traditional sauce made with chocolate.
11 am–4:30 pm

Regional Varieties of Chocolate
Chocolatier Erin Solin discusses the cultivation, harvesting, and roasting of cacao beans, and how different treatments can affect the taste of chocolate. Visitors will learn to identify the origin of cacao beans through chocolate tastings.
11:30 am

 
  Mayan Cacao God

The Mayan Gift of Chocolate
Listen to Zoe Harris read stories about chocolate, learn about the Cacao God, and sing a chocolate chant in Spanish.
1 pm

The History of Chocolate
Learn about the factors that influence the quality of chocolate products with Brad Kintzer from Scharffen Berger Chocolate Company. Taste your way through the chocolate-making process.
2:30 pm

Birds, Roaches & Chocolate
Meet live roaches from the tropical rainforest, and learn why these arthropods – and others – are vital for cacao plant ecosystems and the birds they support.
4 pm

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Saturday, July 30

Mole Tamales
Sample mole tamales, as made in the state of Puebla, México, and take home printed recipes. Mole is a traditional sauce made with chocolate.
11 am–4:30 pm

From Cacao Bean to Chocolate Bar
Meet chocolatier Erin Solin and learn about the refining and manufacturing process for chocolate. Sample different chocolates from around the world, and take home recipes to try for yourself.
11 am

The Alchemy of Chocolate-Making
Meet Frederick Schilling, founder of Dagoba Chocolate, and learn about organic, fair-trade cacao cultivation. Taste samples of roasted nibs (cacao bean pieces) and freshly-made chocolate.
12:30 pm

Chocolate Singalong
Join Jose Luis Orozco for a medley of Mexican songs about chocolate and its origins in Mesoamerica.
2:30 pm

Birds, Roaches & Chocolate
Meet live roaches from the tropical rainforest, and learn why these arthropods – and others – are vital for cacao plant ecosystems and the birds they support.
4 pm

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Saturday, August 20
Space is limited to 60 people on a first-come basis.

Traditional Medicinal Uses of Cacao
Meet Curandero (traditional healer) Maira Hernandez Martinez, and learn about the ways that chocolate is used in traditional Mexican medicines.
11 am–4:30 pm

Chocolate for the Skin
Learn about the non-edible uses of cocoa powder and cocoa butter as ingredients in skin-care products from Diane Gomes of Lush. Test handmade chocolate cosmetic products, and learn about their anti-oxidant qualities.
11:30 am

Cacao: The Botanist's Perspective
What does cacao look like? Where does it grow? In this illustrated talk, Frank Almeda, Ph.D., an Academy botanist, presents the natural history and ecological aspects of cacao.
1 pm

Xocolatl in the Supermarket
To the Aztecs, xocolatl was the “Food of the Gods” and figured prominently in both ritual ceremonies and their regular diet. Today, many chocolate items are available in local Mexican markets. Learn how these products are used for preparing traditional fare, and taste delicious samples.
2:30 pm

Birds, Roaches & Chocolate
Meet live roaches from the tropical rainforest, and learn why these arthropods – and others – are vital for cacao plant ecosystems and the birds they support.
4 pm

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CHOCOLATE PROGRAMS

Visit the Academy during its Chocolate exhibit to experience the culture, science, and history of chocolate. All programs are free with admission and no reservations are required.

Chocolate Opening Ceremonies
Enjoy traditional Aztec dances performed by Ernesto Hernandez Olmos and the Xaguia Gura Ensemble. The Aztecs were among the world's earliest chocolate drinkers.
Saturday, June 11, 11 am

A Chocolate Masterpiece
Watch as award-winning food sculptor Arthur Escoto carves a 200-pound block of chocolate into a sculpture inspired by the aquatic creatures of Steinhart Aquarium.
Saturday & Sunday, June 11 & 12, 10:30 am–4:30 pm

Godiva Chocolate Tasting
Taste delectable chocolate morsels from Godiva Chocolatier, a world leader in fine chocolates for nearly eighty years.
Friday, June 17, 2–4 pm
Friday, July 15, 2–4 pm

Dart Frogs and Wild Chocolate
Meet a tiny frog that lives in the shade of the cacao tree, learn how chocolate grows in the wild, and take home a real cacao seed.
Sunday, June 19, 1 & 2:30 pm
Sunday, July 24, 1 & 2:30 pm

La Dolce V Tasting
Sample handcrafted chocolates from La Dolce V, an artisan business that uses only the purest of high quality ingredients.
Friday, June 24, 12–2 pm

Chocolate Fountains and Buffets
Learn how to design your own artistic chocolate buffet with Simply Perfect catering, and test out the hottest new trend in chocolate fondues – the chocolate fountain – with Elegant Weddings By Design.
Saturday, June 25, 1–3 pm

Recchiuti Confections Chocolate Tasting
Sample chocolates from Recchiuti Confections while learning from the chef about chocolate infusions and artistry. Recchiuti is known for the fresh flavors and elegant beauty of its chocolates.
Sunday, August 7, and Friday, September 2, 1–3 pm
Free with admission in the Steinhart Aquarium

Godiva Chocolate Creations
Godiva will create chefs out of kids during two one hour sessions from 1–2 pm and 2–3 pm. Kids will don chef hats, learn the art of dipping, create chocolate animals, and take home goodie bags. Each class can accommodate 25 children, first come first serve.
Sunday, August 14, 1–3 pm
Free with admission in the Steinhart Aquarium

Bittersweet
Get a taste of what a total immersion chocolate café is really like – sample some of the wonderful products of Bittersweet Café, which has caused quite a stir in Rockridge and will be opening in Fillmore soon.
Sunday, August 28, 1-3pm in the Steinhart Aquarium

Chocolate Ecology 101
Learn about the amazing ecology of the cacao plant and its environment with the Insect Discovery Lab. Meet giant millipedes, rainforest walking sticks, wood roaches and arachnids.
Wednesday, June 29, 1:15 pm & 3:15 pm
Thursday, July 7, 1:15 pm & 3:15 pm
Thursday, July 21, 1:15 pm & 3:15 pm

Chocolate & Wine Tasting
Pair chocolates from Peter Rabbit's Chocolate Factory, voted best Chocolatier this year by MetroActive, with wines from Hart's Desire Winery, a small, family owned winery known for superior balanced wines.
Friday, July 1, 2–4 pm
Saturday, August 6, 1–3 pm

Your Chocolate Figurine
Make your own chocolate figurine to take home using special molds.
Saturday, July 2, 2–4 pm
Saturday, July 16, 2–4 pm
Saturday, August 13, 2–4 pm

LaLoo's Goat Milk Ice Cream Tasting
Learn about the benefits of goat's milk while sampling delicious chocolate goat milk ice cream.
Friday, July 8, 2–4 pm

Ghirardelli & Vermeer Tasting
Taste chocolates from a San Francisco favorite – Ghirardelli, then wash them down with a sip of Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur – an irresistible blend of pure Dutch chocolate, premium vodka, and rich cream.
Saturday, July 9, 1–3 pm

La Bonne Cuisine with Chocolate from Village Imports
Join award-winning chef, Christophe Kubiak of La Bonne Cuisine, on a journey transforming baking chocolate from Village Imports, Importer of Gourmet Specialty Food, into infused chocolate ganaches such as basil, rosemary, and rose. Sunday, July 10, 1­3 pm

San Francisco Chocolate Factory
Sample gourmet chocolate from the Wine Lover¹s Collection by the San Francisco Chocolate Factory. This local favorite will be opening their new signature tins for their San Francisco neighbors.
Sunday, July 17, 2­4 pm

Chocolate Trivia and Tasting
Test your knowledge about chocolate with fun and fascinating questions from the ChocolateSmarts game while winning prizes and tasting truffles and confections by Charles Chocolates.
Friday, July 22, 2–4 pm

Guittard Chocolate Tasting
Take a guided tour of chocolate tasting with Adam Smith of Fog City News and Gary Guittard of Guittard Chocolate Company.
Saturday, July 23, 12–2 pm

Chocolate Fountains & Buffets
Learn how to design your own artistic chocolate buffet with Simply Perfect catering, and test out the hottest new trend in chocolate fondues ­ the chocolate fountain ­ with Elegant Weddings by Design.
Sunday, July 24, 1­3 pm

Fudge Making and Tasting
Watch as fudge experts from My Friend the Chocolate Cake demonstrate classic fudge-making techniques and enjoy tasty samples.
Friday, July 29, 2–4 pm

Ghirardelli
Top your ice cream with a San Francisco favorite. Ghirardelli will top this Sunday off with their signature hot fudge sauce.
Sunday, July 31, 1­3 pm

Chocolate Soap Making Demonstration
Join Sky Valley Farm for a chocolate soap making demonstration and learn about the health benefits of natural ingredients in soaps.
Friday, August 5, 2–4 pm in the Academy Classroom

Lake Champlain Chocolates Tasting
Sample single-origin chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates and discover how the geographic origin of chocolate affects its flavor profile.
Friday, August 12, 2–4 pm

Chocolate Menus and Music
Collect chocolate recipes, get tips from a chef about working with chocolate, and learn about pairing music with food.
Friday, August 19, 2–4 pm in the Academy Classroom

Cacao Anasa & Vermeer Tasting
Taste exotic handcrafted chocolates from Cacao Anasa, then wash them down with a sip of Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur – an irresistible blend of pure Dutch chocolate, premium vodka, and rich cream.
Friday, August 26, 2–4 pm

Truffle Making and Tasting
Join pastry chef instructor Mark Hodgson from the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies Department, City College of San Francisco, for a tasty truffle-making demonstration.
Saturday, August 27, 1–3 pm in the Academy Classroom

Recchiuti Confections Chocolate Tasting
Sample chocolates from Recchiuti Confections while learning from the chef about chocolate infusions and artistry. Recchiuti is known for the fresh flavors and elegant beauty of its chocolates.
Friday, September 2, 1–3 pm
Free with admission in the Steinhart Aquarium

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CHOCOLATE LECTURES
See also: Academy Special Lectures

  Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.
  Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.

A Kingdom of Chocolate?
Tantalizing Research at the Great Maya Site of Chocolá in Guatemala Boca Costa
Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico
If Classic Maya civilization died in discord, blood, and war, did Maya civilization begin in sweetness? Research at the site of Chocolá, Guatamala, has yielded archaeological intimations of a paradise lost. Sitting just beneath stunning volcanic ridges, absorbing ample rainfall from the nearby Pacific, and harboring fertile earth, this site provided a perfect setting for ancient cacao cultivation. Kaplan, the lead anthropologist of the site, explores the connections between chocolate production and the rise of the great lost city of Chocolá, where preliminary findings indicate that the site was a significant center for social and cultural developments leading to the rise of the Classic Maya - a period characterized by exquisite ceramics, hieroglyphic literacy, and the most advanced mathematics and astronomy in the New World. Learn about this exciting archeological site and how to get involved as an Earthwatch volunteer (www.earthwatch.org).
Monday, July 11, 2 & 7:30 pm in the Sequoia Board Room at the California Academy of Sciences at 875 Howard Street. Tickets are free for Academy members and $8 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

 

  Robert Steinberg
  Robert Steinberg

Chocolate: The Eighth Wonder of the World
Robert Steinberg, co-founder, Scharffen Berger Chocolate
Though a simple treat enjoyed by many in its varied forms, chocolate requires a complex production process to transform the seeds of the cacao pod into one of the world's truly universal edible wonders. Steinberg describes the path followed to bring chocolate, as we know it, into the world. He delves into the tropical ecology and geography of cacao trees, and reveals the mysteries of chocolate production, including the differences among chocolates. Steinberg, the co-founder of Berkeley's Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc., served a brief stint at Bernachon Chocolatier in Lyon, France, where he learned the basics of making chocolate. Steinberg will also address the myths surrounding the supposed health benefits of chocolate.
Monday, August 8, 2 & 7:30 pm in the Sequoia Board Room at the California Academy of Sciences at 875 Howard Street. Tickets are free for Academy members and $8 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

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CHOCOLATE COOKING CLASS

Adventures in Chocolate
Seminar with Kerry Alan
Chocolate is world-renowned for its sweet and savory culinary traits. Discover its versatility and learn how to make an array of innovative, mouthwatering dishes: warm chocolate-soup shooters, chicken mole poblano, chocolate Ibarra pie, and chocolate raviolis with almond-ricotta filling. And, of course, enjoy a sampling of all these tasty delicacies! Suitable for adults and teens ages fifteen and up.
Thursday, July 28, 7-9 pm in the Academy Classroom
$50 members, $60 non-members
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