When master chocolatier Jacques Torres announced he was bringing a chocolate museum to Manhattan, we had our doubts. Last summer’s Museum of Ice Cream was an interactive art gallery rather than historic exploration of the frozen treat, while the Museum of Feelings was little more than a pine-scented Instagram funhouse.
Turns out you can be educational and delicious. Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience is now open inside Torres' 350 Hudson St. shop in SoHo. Six months in the making, the museum takes visitors through the origins of chocolate and how it's made with the help of curator Eddy Van Belle. He has established several Choco-Story museums across the world, most notably in Mexico, where the museum also functions as a sanctuary for animals that cannot be released back into the wild.
The wildest you’ll get here is tasting real chocolate nibs straight for the pod, served the traditional Mayan way by grinding then melting it with boiling water. The drink may look like hot chocolate, but that’s where the resemblance ends — you’re well-advised to use the sugar and spices on the table to temper the bitterness. “It only really starts tasting like chocolate once you add sugar,” Torres concedes.